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We’re Making a List (and Checking it Twice) of Holiday Mini-Grants

A volunteer prepares to hand out poinsettias at a drive-thru holiday party hosted by the Ramona Senior Center.

As we approached the holiday season, San Diego Seniors Community Foundation knew many older people were going to be apart from family and loved ones this year. Recent data confirmed at least 1 in 3 older people had no plans to celebrate and would be alone at the holidays. 

In order to uplift seniors’ spirits, our foundation knew it was more important than ever to support the organizations and service providers that serve older people in our community, especially at this time of year. 

Introducing SDSCF’s holiday mini grants totaling over $31,000 and serving more than 2,200 older people across the region. The grants are tailored to help senior centers and nonprofit agencies create holiday themed events and programming. The goal? To bring joy to socially isolated seniors through a variety of holiday activities including drive-thru parties, meal and gift deliveries, and virtual gatherings. 

Here’s a closer look at the holiday grants we awarded

A volunteer delivers holiday cheer to seniors in Del Mar

Del Mar Community Connections – $2,500 to deliver greenery arrangements and gift bags containing word puzzles, books, and sweet treats to 70 isolated seniors

Escondido Senior Center – $3,000 to provide festive holiday decor for 200 isolated older people or gift a poinsettia to place in their homes, and give a handwritten holiday card

Serving Seniors – $2,520 for succulent plants and hand-written greeting cards from volunteers and donors to 800 isolated older people

Sharp Senior Health Center – $2,225 for The Giving Tree, a program to provide gift cards to 150 older patients at the clinic and mail holiday greeting cards and gifts to older people who cannot physically come in

Borrego Springs Senior Center – $3,000 for the delivery of 100 poinsettias to the clients of their home-delivered meals program and a one-year subscription for 50 older people to the San Diego Union-Tribune 

Neighborhood House Association Senior Center staff and volunteers bring holiday cheer to local seniors
Staff and volunteers at Neighborhood House Senior Center gathered to deliver gifts and hot meals to their clients who are spending the holidays alone

Neighborhood House Senior Center – $2,840 for the delivery of 70 hot meals and holiday gift bags for isolated older people

Jewish Family Services College Avenue and Balboa Avenue Senior Centers – $2,500 for a variety of Zoom programming including drawing, sing-alongs, trivia, social hours, music class, and poetry, along with 250 New Years’ party packages containing glasses, necklaces, hats, noise-makers, and greeting cards

A La Jolla Community Center member is happy to receive a holiday surprise
Gift bags included a chef-prepared meal, hand-written cards, and flowers

LaJolla Community Center – $3,000 for Holiday Cheer and Meal program, a program to deliver hot meals, hand written cards, bouquets of flowers to 100 isolated older people 

The Fallbrook Senior Center provided festive holiday gifts to participants in its Meals-to-Go and home-delivered meals program

Fallbrook Senior Center – $3,000 to grow its volunteer outreach to a team of 10 people who will provide 200 isolated older people with holiday decor and hand-written cards, and deliver poinsettias to the home-bound and Meals-to-Go members 

Fourth District Senior Center – $3,000 to provide 100 isolated older people with a curbside meal, a poinsettia or Christmas cactus plant, handcrafted holiday greeting cards and gift cards from Walmart 

A drive-thru holiday party at the Ramona Senior Center was a welcome treat for its clients

Ramona Senior Center – $3,000 for a drive-thru holiday party where 100 participants will receive baby poinsettias, gift cards and holiday cards, cookies and candy canes, and a meal

Norman Park Senior Center Chula Vista – $1,000 for holiday packages including Christmas cards, PPE supplies, cookies; and to provide turkeys and/or hams to families in need 

Now and always our New Year’s resolution is to ensure that every local senior has someone they can turn to and trust. Thank you to our wonderful community partners for organizing festive events to bring holiday joy to older people across San Diego County.

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