By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY — Area agencies and organizations are offering many holiday helping hands this season.
Community Caregivers of Greater Derry reaps a long list of holiday benefits with volunteer help and donations from area businesses and organizations.
Three agencies and churches in particular are helping make Caregivers’ clients wishes come true.
Caregivers serves the elderly and disabled in the area, helping them remain independent in their homes through a network of volunteers who help with transportation, shopping, light chores and other tasks.
This year Derry Chiropractic, Community Crossroads (formerly Region 10) and Holy Cross Church are also reaching out to make the holidays brighter for Caregivers’ clients by taking them on as “angels” and providing gifts.
Derry Chiropractic’s patients have been donating gifts for more than a month with all purchases due back to the office by Dec. 14.
Holy Cross has been helping Caregivers with an Angel Tree since 2008 and typically donate merchandise and gift cards totaling approximately $900.
Caregivers’ executive director Cindee Tanuma said the help is greatly appreciated as many clients are older and more in need at the holidays for various reasons, mostly because they find themselves with less connections to family or friends as they get older.
“I would like to let them know how important it is to serve such an invisible population and that some of these folks, this is the only gift they will receive this season,” she said.
Caregivers hosted its annual holiday open house earlier this week to honor its volunteers and community supporters.
“It’s just the start to say ‘thank you’ for what they do week in and week out with little recognition,” Tanuma said.
Volunteers who have served Caregivers for five, 10, 15 and 20 years were honored.
Without a strong network of volunteers, Tanuma said, Caregivers’ valuable work would not get done.
“Clients express that they are lost, but now are found and that is due to each volunteer and their giving spirit,” she said. “I know in my heart that with the volunteers’ help, that we are treating them with the respect they deserve.”