Life After 50: This Community Rocks!

The socially distanced Los Alamos High School Hilltalkers spent time and talent receiving donated items and handwriting cards to senior citizens in the community to brighten their day. Courtesy photo

LAHS Hilltalkers gather donations from the community to share with local senior citizens. Courtesy photo

This rock anonymously donated by a community member brightens the day of a senior resident. Courtesy photo

By BERNADETTE LAURITZEN
Executive Director
LARSO

September marks six months since the pandemic impacted our daily work at the senior centers.

The fabulous months of August and September culminated in the best fundraiser ever. To mark the 100th birthday of George Best, Sept. 4, completed the final delivery of 44 goody bags to Aspen Ridge Lodge.

Community donations large and small allowed us to make 100 of what I like to say were party bags, in celebration of George and his volunteer contributions and blessed 100 senior citizens and staff, too.

The bags included a variety of items, but mostly sugary treats, with special arrangements for our sugar-free seniors. Rumor has it that they were already sweet enough. The bags contained art work from children and cards from community members. Naturally, we quarantined everything for safety.

The topping on the sundae, community members rocked it out in style. We put out a request for rocks painted by any and everyone willing to help. We take for granted the rocks we see walking the trails, paths and sidewalks of our community. The donations of Chris, Janet, Becky, Linda, Daisy, Jenn and so many others, allowed us to put a special rock or two in every bag for our seniors to enjoy.

One child made some old school pet rocks, complete with eyes. I would love for him or her to know that we gave one to a blind senior. I knew that effort would enable the senior to literally “feel” the love put into that rock.

We worked with Del Norte Credit Union to put the change we collected into the bank and back into rotation. Who knew that so many small donations could help so many people have a great day? I did. Many years ago, I started a Change for Change drive in the community, to help raise funds for youth programs that still take place today with Champions of Youth Ambitions (C’YA). Since stores and their employees need it more right now, we decided to allow another organization be successful and help those young at heart.

We will continue to do good for our isolated population throughout this stressful time. When those school supplies get marked down to ridiculous prices, we’d love to have donations of colored pencils, crayons, stickers and 3 X 5 or 4 X 6 cards. They make excellent vehicles for words on one side and drawings on another, just ask David, Sarah and Emily Sanders, and along with coloring books or pads of paper, make great additions to the goody bags.

If dirt is more up your alley, how about helping Metzger’s get rid of all of those bags of compost? That will help the senior centers with their garden projects before beds are put to sleep for the winter. We also love those bigger rocks, painted or naked, to circle our memorial trees with something pretty? No pressure.

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