Community gives to seniors

Wanting to make sure no one was forgotten this holiday season, the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, Backyard Broadcasting and STEP Inc. came together to provide more than 300 care packages for senior citizens.

The program collects donations from community and business partners in order to give those who wouldn’t receive anything otherwise, a few Christmas gifts.

“(We) come together just to help make Christmas a little brighter,” said Connie Tobias, Sun-Gazette human resources manager.

The group has organized the event for about five years, according to Tobias. Items, such as food, winter clothing and toiletry products are given to senior citizens who are alone for the holidays.

The group finds the recipients through Meals on Wheels.

State police in Montoursville and Lamar also helped with delivering boxes of goodies.

“We have a lot of seniors that are alone with no one and they tend to get forgotten in the rush,” Tobias said.

The program served 376 individuals from Lycoming and Clinton counties this holiday season. Tobias said this segment of the population “laid the foundation” for our country and should be appreciated, especially during the holidays.

Also helping with donations were Helminiak’s Greenhouses, Kellogg’s, Frito-Lay, Utz, Weis Markets and Van Campen Motors. But most of the donations come from community members. And Tobias was quick to point out that it’s not one segment of the community but called it a “multigenerational” program.

“It’s truly a community effort,” Tobias said.