MUSCATINE, Iowa–Senior Resources wraps up another year of the Senior Christmas Basket Program. Thanks to the assistance of the Muscatine community and a new Holiday Challenge, over 200 seniors received a special gift of holiday cheer this past holiday season. The Christmas Gift Basket Program provides holiday gift baskets to seniors in Muscatine through the generous donation of local businesses and community sponsors. Many faithful organizations and individuals have adopted a senior as part of the Christmas basket program for years, including Muscatine Power and Water, The Muscatine Sheriff Department, and SSAB.
This year, the program was able to extend its reach and donations through a fun community challenge pitting Muscatine bars Headquarters, the Missipi Brew, Bridgeside Links, and Proof Social against each other in a battle of the bars called the Stuff the Stocking Challenge. There were two fantastic outcomes from this first annual challenge. First, the awareness this competition brought to the Senior Christmas Basket program allowed Senior Resources and Outreach Coordinator, Laura Vargas, to provide holiday baskets to 30 more seniors than in recent years with more looking to sign up for the 2022 Christmas Basket program. The competition also united our community to remember and give back to the seniors in Muscatine. An often-forgotten group, seniors have endured a very difficult couple of years as the COVID-19 pandemic has created fear and isolation throughout this vulnerable population.
Tara Riggan, of Headquarters bar helped dream up this Stuff the Stocking Challenge in coordination with Senior Resources staff, out of her dedication to the senior population and the desire to show them how important they are to our community. The two-week challenge requested donations from bar goers that could be incorporated into Senior Christmas baskets and delivered to program applicants. Requested items consist of stamps, puzzle books, laundry and cleaning supplies, warm socks, towels, and gift cards. Specialty items like coats and slippers of a certain size were then filled in with the support of monetary donations from supporters like HNI. The outpouring of donations was amazing. While Headquarters snagged the Stocking Stuffer Rotating Trophy this year the Missipi Brew was a close second, bringing in enough items to fill their entire bar and several closets! Bridgeside Links and Proof also filled their stocking and played an important role in the success of the first annual Stuff the Stocking” challenge.
Program coordinator, Laura Vargas stated, “it means so much to me to give back to seniors in our community. I think it’s important for them to see that we care even during the holiday season. It’s such a rewarding feeling to show up with a Christmas basket for those who might not receive anything during the holidays. Thanks to our sponsors and supporters for helping us make this possible each year.” To learn more about how to support or how to get connected with the programs of Senior Resources please call 563-263-7292
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