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Program seeks thousands of holiday cards for isolated seniors


A creative and inexpensive way to brighten the holidays for others has arrived via Home Instead Senior Care’s “A Loved Las Cruces Senior” holiday card campaign.

Home Instead Las Cruces franchise owner Buffy Johnson said she wants to collect at least 1,000 – and hopefully 3,000 or more – greeting cards that she and her staff will deliver to senior citizens in nursing homes and assisted living facilities or isolated in their homes in Las Cruces.

“I want the seniors in our community to know that even though they are isolated right now, we haven’t forgotten about them,” Johnson said. “We want to make them to feel cared for and loved even though they are isolated.”

There are more than 920 seniors in nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Las Cruces, Johnson said. Her goal is to provide two or three cards for each one.

To participate, write a warm holiday message (Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, a generic greeting, etc.) in one or more greeting cards, or make one or more cards of your own. You, your children, your church or civic organization, school class or any other group can be as creative as you want, and you can make as many cards as you would like, Johnson said.

And, you are welcome to include your name and your mailing address in the card(s), if you want, she said, which could be the start of a pen-pal letter exchange with the senior(s) who receive the card or cards that you create. Or, you can leave the card(s) unsigned.

Enclose each card you make in an envelope and either take the cards to 1) Home Instead Senior Care, 2470 Calle de Guadalupe, across from the Fountain Theatre on the historic Mesilla Plaza, or 2) the drop box located near the Be a Santa to a Senior (see below) holiday tree at Mesilla Valley Mall, 700 S. Telshor Blvd. The tree will have special, green “A Loved Las Cruces Senior” cards attached. 

Or, place the cards you write or make in their individual envelopes and then put them all in a larger envelope and mail it to A Loved Las Cruces Senior, c/o Home Instead Senior Care, P.O. Drawer G, Mesilla, N.M. 88046.

“We will come pick up cards if the organization has made a large amount of them,” Johnson said.

Johnson asked that no gift cards be included.

The deadline to deliver cards is Tuesday, Dec. 15.

Be a Santa to a Senior program

In addition to the card campaign, Johnson and her Home Instead staff are sponsoring the 15th annual Be a Santa to a Senior program, which provides gifts to lonely, needy seniors in the community, Johnson said.

Seniors are recommended for participation in the program by local nonprofits.

To participate, simply take a long, white card from the holiday tree that will go up Saturday, Nov. 21, at Mesilla Valley Mall. Buy the gift or gifts requested on the card(s) and take them unwrapped with the gift request card attached to the mall office or to Home Instead Senior Care in Mesilla.

The deadline to participate is Friday, Dec. 11.

Home Instead also accepts donations of cash, blankets, scarves, socks, lotion, toiletries and other generic gift items, Johnson said, but cannot accept donations of food or plants.

For more information, or if you need multiple gift request cards or you have a large number of A Loved Las Cruces senior holiday cards to be picked up, contact Johnson at 575-522-7133 or buffy.johnson@homeinstead.com. Visit www.homeinstead.com/138/default.aspx and www.beasantatoasenior.com.