Scottsdale’s yearly Adopt-A-Senior program is once again helping underserved seniors this holiday season.
Scottsdale has a reputation around the world as a wealthy enclave — especially for seniors — but many seniors in Scottsdale are struggling when it comes to their daily needs. With the holidays approaching, the city of Scottsdale and Scottsdale Community Partners, a charity that services vulnerable populations in Scottsdale are again promoting the Adopt-A-Senior program.
Each year the participating seniors fill out a wish list for sponsors across the Valley to go out and shop.
Sponsors sign up through the city of Scottsdale and choose to “adopt” a senior, which covers all their needs for the holiday season or choose to be a Thanksgiving or holiday sponsor. A Thanksgiving sponsor will provide a $35 grocery card for a Thanksgiving meal. A holiday sponsor will receive the seniors' wish list with no more than five items to purchase as well as a $35 grocery gift card and a book of stamps.
Eligible seniors are “…screened by one of our social workers that works with the city… [and] it is based on income eligibility and Scottsdale residency,” recreation leader for the city of Scottsdale, Kevin Herrick stated. Seniors must be over 60 to be considered for the program.
A crucial part of this program is the delivery, according to Scottsdale Community Partners.
Each senior will be delivered their gifts personally by city staff and social workers. Most of the seniors served live in isolation with minimal or no social interaction. The personalization of the delivery of the gifts provides a social setting for the senior and allows the social worker to perform a health and wellness check on the individual.
In the past, “we have teamed up with Scottsdale Police Department… and a resource officer has helped with the deliveries. Our participants were so thrilled to have a police officer delivering their holiday gifts,” Human Services Center Supervisor Jennifer Murphy said.
Sponsors are not involved in the delivery process of the gifts to keep the identity of the serviced Scottsdale seniors confidential.
The program is facilitated out of the Via Linda Senior Center in Scottsdale, but the Granite Reef Senior Center also works on this program.
The city of Scottsdale’s goal this holiday season was to assist 330 seniors. The Adopt-A-Senior program “…will be providing holiday cheer to 348 seniors for the holiday program this year,” Murphy said.
During the 2021-2022 fiscal year 336 seniors participated in the Adopt-A-Senior program according to Scottsdale Community Partners. This holiday season all participating seniors of the Adopt-A-Senior program have been sponsored.
Scottsdale Community Partners is still accepting monetary donations for those who didn’t have the opportunity to adopt a senior but would like to support Scottsdale low-income senior adults this holiday season.
Donations can be made through Scottsdale Community Partners here.
Editor’s Note: Siddney McLeod is a student reporter at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications