Elder Angel Tree project accepting holiday donations for Black Hills seniors
RAPID CITY, S.D.– After reaching 500 senior citizens in 2021, the Elder Angel Tree is back again to bring some holiday cheer to older residents of the Black Hills. The Black Hills Advocate organization is accepting donations through December 9 to hand out to residents that are part of the Meals on Wheels program and utilize the Adult Day Center of the Black Hills.
When did it start?
The first year the program was started was in 2019, and presents for 100 residents were collected. The following year 100 more people were given gifts, and then in 2021 around 500 people were served. This year they are hoping to reach 600 people.
What is Black Hills Advocate looking for?
Black Hills Advocate is looking to collect the following items to hand out:
Packaged snacks and simple food items (excluding caramel or very chewy candies)
Hats, gloves and scarves
Men and women’s toiletry baskets
Boxes of tea & mugs
Large print puzzle books
Their plan is to have all of the items in by December 9 so they can all be wrapped and prepared for distribution. Until then, items can be dropped off at the Black Hills Advocate building, located at 318 Mount Rushmore Road in downtown Rapid City.
How has the community responded to the Elder Angel Tree program?
“We have lots of youth groups that are involved. Boy and Girl Scout troops that are involved [and] bunco groups that have adopted the elder Angel Tree,” Executive Director for Black Hills Advocate Jenny Schmidt said. “And we’ve just had some really awesome notes from people as they drop off gifts who maybe are remembering a parent or grandparent and are using the Elder Angel Tree to memorialize them.”
“Meals on Wheels is all about reconnecting seniors to their communities,” Executive Director of the Meals on Wheels of Western South Dakota George Larson said. “And what better way to do that during this Christmas time than to give a gift to someone that needs it, that would appreciate it through the Angel Tree now.”