This year, the annual Gifts for Grands donation drive will be hosted by Missy Barnhart Bingiel, Susan Stanley and Shannon Beavers, the three sisters who started it all just a few years ago.
According to Bingiel, they started this charity event in 2016 to honor their mother, an Alzheimer’s patient who died of cancer, and father, who is a current resident of the Gordon County Health and Rehabilitation.
When their dad got placed at the Gordon location years ago, all three of them decided to do something to make holidays special for him and his fellow residents.
For this drive, the three sisters are partnering with Gordon County Health Care, and starting this year, will also be working with Chatsworth Health Care, where they will be delivering hand-wrapped gifts to each of their residents, Bingiel said. Also, she said Murray County EMS and law enforcement officers will be delivering gifts this year to the Chatsworth center as a way of serving the community.
“I know it means a lot to the residents,” Bingiel said. “We’re just trying to show some Christmas cheer.”
She said volunteers try to spend time individually with each resident and show love to those who might not otherwise be visited during the holidays.
Bingiel said on behalf of her sisters that they are grateful for the community involvement and support that they’ve received in the past. She said it’s priceless to see the faces of residents when they get a surprise visitor or when a child hands them a gift in the spirit of Christmas.
In the past two years, Bingiel said they served an average of 115 residents at Gordon County Health and Rehab, and adding on another location this year would mean doubling the amount of donations needed.
Both counties are accepting all donations, but are specifically requesting blankets, moisturizers, slippers, socks and manicure kits. Usually, recipients are elders or grandparents, which is how they came up with the name of the drive, and any appropriate gifts would be greatly appreciated.
Donations will be accepted in Gordon County by Cammy Causby at the Gordon Health Department; for Murray County, you can donate at Murray 911 or Hair Addictions off of U.S. 225 South.
Donations for Chatsworth Health Care will not be accepted past Dec. 7, and gifts will be delivered to residents there on Dec. 9.
The Gordon County drive will be ending on Dec. 20, with gifts being delivered on Dec. 22.
Bingiel said if there are any families or volunteers who want to help deliver presents, they can call her at 706-537-3596 or visit the “Gifts for Grands/Gordon County” event page on Facebook.