'Adopt a Grandparent' program donates over 900 gloves to local seniors

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - 'Tis the season to brighten spirits and share good will, many in the interior are using their time to help local charities and others in need.

Throughout the year one local woman collects donations for the Adopt a Grandparent program to provide gloves to seniors, and every Sunday before Thanksgiving - with the help of a few friends - she wraps up these warm gifts and sends them all over the Interior.

For the past five years, Sandra Harley has been providing hundreds of warm winter gloves to seniors and those in need.

"They're going to their doctor's appointments with socks on one hand, mittens on the other, they're trying to use canes, they're trying to use walkers," she said to the volunteers recalling on why she started this project.

Working through the afternoon, volunteers took handmade cards from local children and tied them to a pair of gloves. Implementing a pay it forward spirit, children who visit the shop can decorate a card, which is sent along with a pair of gloves, and they receive a piece of candy. Same for shoppers, those who make a donation also receive a little gift.

For many of the volunteers, it's a day of fun. Anne Dean started participating in this Adopt a Grandparent event two years ago.

“It doesn't feel like work, to me at least and yeah I enjoy it,” she said.

Chavis McCargish and Bill O’Neil also volunteered their time on the 18th, “I believe that we're responsible for the orphans in the world, the widows, the people that don't get no attention we're responsible for them and I think this should always be a part of our life," O’Neil said.

"I agree with him, its important for us to take care of the community. When I'm old I want somebody to come and bring me gloves,” McCargish added.

Spreading holiday cheer and good will - 10 locations will receive a donation of gloves and over 900 seniors will soon share their smiles of joy.

170 pairs of gloves went to Meals on Wheels, 100 to the Fairbanks North Star Borough’s ‘Walk In’s’, 50 to the Fairbanks Native Association, 100 to the Pioneer Home, 100 to the Denali Center, 40 to MLH Manor, 115 to Assisted Living Homes, 175 were sent out to the North Pole Community, 30 were sent out to the Delta Junction Community, 30 were sent out to the Salcha Community and 26 pairs of gloves will stay with Harley and will be handed out to the homeless.