Volunteers deliver gifts to Heritage Park, assisted living facility and individual homes

An army of volunteers fanned out through the Westside area Saturday morning to bring a little Christmas cheer to senior citizens.
It was all part of the Taft Midway-Sunset Lions Club "Adopt-a-Senior" program that sent gifts to 91 elderly people in Taft, Fellows, Maricopa and Buttonwillow.
Carol Jackson organized the distribution phase after the service club collaborated with local businesses like Albertson's super market, Cooper's True Value Home Center, Chevron Valley Credit Union and Fastrip on Kern Street to collect merchandise and cash donations.
Those businesses were the venues where people "adopted" a low-income senior citizen.
"It's fun and very rewarding," Jackson said.
It's also a lot of hard work.
While Jackson coordinated the logistics she had plenty of help from Lions Club members and other volunteers.
Even more showed up Saturday to help with the distribution.
"I think we had at least 40 to 50 people help us this year, including the Longhorns youth baseball team," she said. "This is really a community effort."
This was the second year the service club sponsored the program.
"We helped 72 people last year," Jackson said. "It grew this year and we were able to help 91 senior citizens."
The volunteers went to places like Heritage Park and assisted living facilities plus individual homes.
"These people really appreciate what we do," Jackson said. "Some of them are in tears."
Before she sent the volunteers into the community Jackson asked them to make note of specific needs.
"If you see something that needs repair write it down," she said.
In addition to gift items and boxes of toiletries, the group received cash donations that can be used to do things like household repairs.
Jackson said Saturday's gift distribution turned up seniors who needed eyeglasses and one who needed a new wheelchair. Another asked for help getting dental work.