Mountain View resident Patricia Boone’s idea of giving to seniors was sparked years ago by a corporate tradition of aiding the less fortunate in the community.
“When I worked for Apple,” Boone said, “we ran out of families to give to on the giving tree.”
She spearheaded a project to help a senior residence home by supplying poinsettias and gifts for residents. Boone also asked to “adopt” a person herself – a man who requested, and received, sweat pants and socks. Boone received a letter from the senior residence after Christmas.
“They said thank you so much,” she said. “The home looked beautiful and the man was very grateful – they said it was the last act of kindness he received. He died right after that.”
Boone’s mother, Addie, was a Mountain View resident since 1964 and regularly volunteered at convalescent homes – helping with laundry and other chores and visiting with the residents; Boone frequently pitched in.
Following Addie’s death in 2015, Boone created a Facebook page, “Addie’s friends: Socks for seniors,” which is still active.
With the help of her twin girls, Hannah and Brianna, and her son, Will, the family began making ornaments for low-income seniors and then added donations of socks. Remembering the letter from years before about the last act of kindness a man had enjoyed, the kids also made cards for the seniors.
“They would write lovely things on their cards,” Boone said of her kids. “‘We love you,’ ‘We’re thinking about you,’ ‘You’re not alone.’”
In past years, they’ve decorated and donated scores of ornaments and tiny trees and distributed them at Villa Siena.
“They let my kids go through the halls and talk to people,” Boone said of the senior community in Mountain View. “We’d go on Christmas Eve and deliver cards and ornaments, and blankets to people on the convalescent side. The kids do the delivering; I stand back and watch.”
They also have donated blankets, sweatpants, socks and decorations to Mountain View’s Community Services Agency for the organization’s Christmas visits to shut-ins.
In 2017, the Boone family donated ornaments and other holiday items for approximately 50 seniors, as well as blankets and socks for local veterans and senior shut-ins. The children’s classmates get involved, too, most recently at Covington School.
Giving continues year-round
Boone pointed out that they also provide gifts on Mother’s Day (for men also), Grandparents Day and other occasions.
For those who would like to join in the giving, Boone said there are a number of things they can always use, such as various craft items that her children’s classes can make into gifts for seniors.
“One year (we bought) $1 birdhouses from Michael’s and painted them and passed them out on Mother’s Day. … (Or) little Christmas decorations … could go into somebody’s room. Or buy socks,” she suggested.
And, Boone stressed, kindness to seniors is not limited to gifts.
“If (there’s) a senior in their neighborhood who you know is alone, just don’t forget about them. Go over and bring a plant or just sit and talk with them,” she said. “Or if you see a senior in the store who’s having a hard time with their groceries, or seems a bit confused, don’t overlook them. Ask they if need help, or just say ‘hi.’ You never know what the simple act of kindness of saying ‘hi’ can do.”