Wilshire and Heavenly Home bring the community together doing something truly meaningful this Holiday Season by adopting a Grandparent. 

Wilshire Community Services is looking for volunteers to Adopt a Grandparent this year. Since 2007, Wilshire has been operating its Caring Caller Program for its seniors along the Central Coast. 

From Paso Robles to Nipomo, seniors are partnered with volunteers who provide friendly calls and visits. 

The holidays are always tough for seniors, and this year is sure to be an extra difficult one. With travel restrictions and families worried about transferring COVID to their loved ones, there is great potential for our seniors to feel lonely this season.

Volunteers can also sign up for Wilshire’s Good Neighbor Program, which started in 2010, running errands, tasks and providing some transportation.

Kelly Donohue, a Wilshire Public Relations Specialist, spoke about an experience she recently had while volunteering:

“I picked up some groceries and some errands for them and then we just did a social distanced, masked chat from her porch and I was out on her driveway, and you could just tell she felt so connected to the community cause a real person coming to bring her the things that she needs and so it was not just that it was an errand.”

“It was a real person, real human contact, and it was done totally safely, and I could just tell it just made her day. There’s something for everyone, and it’s all meaningful for our clients.”

Adopting a Grandparent could be as simple as picking up a prescription, checking in with them on the phone, grocery shopping, or safely chatting with them in person.

“It’s actually incredibly daunting when you really think about the fact that it’s difficult for people in our own community to get their groceries, to get their medication,” says Donohue, “Just very basic minimum safety and health needs and so just being able to do that has been really really helpful for so many people.”

Become a volunteer today to make check-in calls to our senior neighbors! Contact Kristin at kgrasso@wilshirehcs.org to get started and visit wilshirehcs.org/volunteer for more on volunteering!

Over at A Heavenly Home in Paso, the Jimenez family brings the most memorable holiday activities home to their residents.

Inspired by the Cambria Christmas Lights, the staff at A Heavenly Home have created a Winter Wonderland in their two-acre backyard. 

Jennifer Jimenez, an owner, said, “It’s absolutely beautiful, stunning, and amazing. The residents are just oohing and ahhing over it every day, their families as well.”

In October, a pumpkin patch and hay maze were created for residents to enjoy with families safely. The maze and patch were opened to the public for safe and distant trick or treating on Halloween. Residents could wave and smile from the window while still enjoying some human interaction in the safest way possible.

“It brought together the community with the elderly,” says Jimenez.

For Thanksgiving, residents have been having private dinners with their families.

Elementary school students will be giving performances and reading stories through Zoom while residents sit in front of their fireplaces. 

A Heavenly Home plans to open their Winter Wonderland for the public to admire, and residents can wave and say hello and enjoy seeing the community.

Human connection is something we all crave, especially during the holidays. And even though we can’t always provide that during these times, there are ways to fill the void and still enjoy the holidays.

Getting through this together, Paso Robles