Lanett employees Adopt-a-Senior for holidays

Published 8:00 am Saturday, December 25, 2021

LANETT — The Lanett Senior Center had its final meeting of calendar year 2021 on Wednesday, Dec. 22. Participating seniors won’t return until Jan. 5, 2022. They will be missing out on a daily meal for two weeks.

For many of the seniors who take part in senior center programs, the noon-hour lunch they get at the center every Monday through Friday is the only full, nutritious meal they have that day. If they miss a couple of weeks at the center, food can become a major issue for them.

Prior to the two-week closure, Senior Center Director Sandra Thornton and Lanett Mayor Jamie Heard came up with a novel way to deal with this. Heard asked each city department for its employees to “adopt” a senior during the Christmas-New Year’s break. Each employee was asked to donate at least five items from a long list they were given. The items included blankets, socks, pajamas and other items to keep the seniors warm on cold winter nights and breakfast, lunch and dinner items to keep them well fed over the holidays.

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At a Christmas Tree Wish List Program at the center on Wednesday, each senior who was present received a gift bag chock full of items to keep them going for the next two weeks. Some recipients were moved to tears by the gift giving.

Santa Claus was there to witness it. He sat in a rocking chair with a big smile on his face while calling out the name of the senior who was to receive the next bag.

City departments taking part included Public Works (Electrical, Gas, Street and Cemetery), the Lanett Police Department and the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), Lanett Fire & EMS, the Lanett Recreation Department and City Hall.

Each employee could pick five items from a list that included blankets, socks, books, puzzles, lotion, Gold Bond medicated powder, boxed tissue, shampoo, soap, toothpaste and a toothbrush, deodorant, pajamas, robes, Depends, breakfast items such as Ensure, muffins, cookies, juice boxes, bottled water, instant hot cocoa, single-serving boxed cereal and fruit and lunch and dinner items such as crackers, bread, peanut butter, jelly, canned soup, canned chili, canned fruit, potted meat, Vienna sausages, canned chicken and dumplings, individual servings of pre-packaged macaroni and cheese, Hormel complete ready-to-eat single-serving meals, Spam, canned vegetables, bottled water and juice.

Heard thanked city employees for making the Christmas wish list program possible.

“I enjoy coming to the senior center and visiting with you,” he said.”I hope each one of you has a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.”

“The City of Lanett has some truly dedicated people,” Herschel Allen said on behalf of the seniors. “They take care of the city’s older residents, and we are lucky to have them.”

Thornton thanked the city employees for their thoughtfulness.

“What you did will make a difference for our seniors,” she said. “Each one is a special person, and I thank you on their behalf.”

The seniors also received some gifts from the Chattahoochee Fuller Center. Executive Director Kim Roberts and Assistant Director Robin Pierre were there to present them. Lynda and Gary Dawson entertained them with some traditional Christmas carols. Mrs. Dawson sang while Mr. Dawson played the saxophone. She opened by singing Patsy Cline’s first hit record, “Walkin’ After Midnight,” before getting into well-known Christmas songs such as “Silent Night” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”