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Citrus Heights Messenger

City Grant Helps Women’s Club Provide Smiles to Seniors

Apr 29, 2024 03:42PM ● By Elise Spleiss

Here is an assortment of items found inside the friendship bags. Photo by Elise Spleiss


CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - Six Citrus Heights Women’s Club members descended upon The Oars Senior Living, an Assisted Living and Memory Care community, bearing gifts on April 3.

Fifty gifts, to be exact.

The Oar’s resident Sandy spoke for all as she said, “We are grateful to Citrus Heights Women's Club for thinking of us and providing these thoughtful gifts to each and every one of us." 

Another resident, Dee, added, "These are amazing. I can't stop smiling."

These smiles became a reality with the help of a $5,000 Community Projects Grant awarded to Citrus Heights Women’s Club for 200 or more Friendship Bags to be delivered to senior apartments and facilities. Plans are also in the works to create bags for Meals on Wheels recipients.

Following the club’s meeting, an assembly line was created to assemble the 50 bags for delivery to The Oars. As club members arrived at the front door to unload their bounty, residents and their K-9 companions appeared, and residents appreciated something new happening. 

Each bag, provided by the city, held a fun solar light, a book and personal care items. A favorite gift was the homemade lap blanket, along with the Beanie Baby in each bag. One of the Oar’s resident pooches, Lulu, was seen checking out the bags. She gave her approval.

This project fits in perfectly with the Community Project program’s goals of “promoting community involvement, pride and connection” and “of being a good neighbor and bringing smiles to new friends.”

“Our community is dedicated to fostering dignity and self-worth through a variety of stimulating group activities, comprehensive wellness programs and engagement in essential everyday life skills,” said The Oars executive director Christal Anderson.

And the Oars Community Relations director Mai Vang said, “What an honor and privilege to receive these wonderful generous gifts from the Citrus Heights Women's Club. We can't thank you enough with all the smiles, tears and joy we all shared as we went through each item. It was a beautiful memory to capture. Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts."

Citrus Heights Women’s Club President JeanMarie Willbee said the club is working with Meals on Wheels and other senior residences in Citrus Heights to bring smiles to more seniors.

Each facility can indicate what their residents would like to receive in the bags.

In other news, The Oars celebrates its fourth anniversary from 1 to 4 p.m. April 26. For more information about the anniversary or The Oars, call 916-212-0388.

For more information about the Citrus Heights Women’s Club, call 916-712-3256.

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