ELKHART — On Wednesday, a group of 60 senior citizens gathered at First Presbyterian Church in Elkhart to send puzzles, gloves, Christmas cards and hot chocolate packets to people in need.
Since October, clients of the Life Enrichment Program at the Council on Aging of Elkhart County have been collecting and creating holiday season donations.
“Our clients enjoy giving back since so many of them are always on the receiving end,” said Tyfanny Mosso, coordinator of the Life Enrichment program. About 90 percent of Life Enrichment participants come to the program seeking assistance, so they jumped at the chance to do something beneficial for the community, Mosso said.
Their donations included 541 handwritten Christmas cards for service men and women overseas and more than 100 jigsaw puzzles for rehabilitating service men and women in the United States.
The seniors also made 125 envelopes with thick winter gloves and “snowman soup” hot chocolate packets for Faith Mission and the Elkhart Women’s Shelter. Seeing that most of the gloves were for women and children, one senior in the Life Enrichment program also contributed a box of 75 donated baseball caps so that men could be recipients, too.
All of the service project ideas were dreamed up by the seniors themselves, Mosso said.
“We wanted to give them a voice and come to us with their own ideas,” Mosso said. “They said, ‘We’re always receiving help. Now we want to use our time and resources to give back.’”
Seniors in the Life Enrichment program meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Salvation Army, 1013 N. Main St., Goshen. The program also meets on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 200 E. Beardsley Ave., Elkhart. Lunch is served at 11 a.m. and is free to older adults who choose to attend.
For more information about Life Enrichment activities, call 295-1820.