STEP delivers to Santa’s Seniors

“Thank you to the ones with special hands who made this for me.” That sort of heartfelt refrain was echoed by many recipients of the Santa’s Seniors boxes that came with their delivered meals just before Christmas.

The gift boxes contained ready to eat or easily prepared foods, cold weather necessities, personal care items and unique cards made by local students and crafting groups and were accompanied by a poinsettia donated by Helminiak’s Greenhouse & Landscaping. Donations were gathered this fall, up until the second week of December, then sorted, packed and distributed to more than 400 area Meals on Wheels consumers shortly before Christmas.

2017 marked the third year of STEP administering the project, utilizing resources and volunteers/service members from STEP Office of Aging, AmeriCorps and Head Start. The Sun-Gazette and Backyard Broadcasting provided extensive publicity and coverage for the donation drive. The media outlets also served as donation drop-off locations, gathering a staggering collection of individual donations to help fill the boxes.

The boxes themselves were donated by Miller Brothers Auto Sales, and were filled with contributions from local businesses and groups. Donors of goods, gift cards and cash included: Frito-Lay, Kellogg, Elmcroft of Loyalsock, Ralston United Methodist Church, Reese’s Print Shop, Weis Markets (various locations in Lycoming and Clinton counties), Phoenix Physical Therapy, Steinbacher, Goodall & Yurchek, Muncy Inmate Organization (PA Department of Corrections, SCI Muncy), Xi Epsilon Sigma, Brigandi Cleghorn & Associates, Clinton County Dental Clinic, Susque-View Nursing & Rehabilitation, Novitas Solutions Inc., Pennsylvania State Police, the employees from Restless Oaks restaurant and Woodlands Bank, Jersey Shore State Bank, Croda Inc., Komar Distribution Services, UPMC Lock Haven, Miller’s Furniture, Avery Dennison, Community Nurses, Crystal Vision Center, Presbyterian Homes, Wegmans, and Celtic Home Health & Hospice. Countless individual donations were delivered to STEP and to the media outlet offices. Handmade items in the boxes included cards from STEP Head Start. Pathways to Success Early Learning Housing Options Workforce Development Community Collaboration Independent Living

Sorting, counting and packing the donations is possible only because of the astounding work done by volunteers from STEP’s Office of Aging programs, service members from STEP AmeriCorps, and community volunteers. The Pennsylvania State Police delivered boxes in Montoursville and Renovo. STEP’s Meals on Wheels volunteers delivered boxes on their routes throughout Lycoming and Clinton counties.

While the boxes are a once-a-year occasion, the home-delivered meals program provides regular social contact along with good nutrition for those unable to leave their houses or prepare meals without assistance throughout the year. If you are interested in being a regular part of delivering meals, or part of the Santa’s Seniors program, contact STEP at 570-326-0587.