Delivering the Holiday Spirit

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Volunteer wraps holiday fruit basket during past Basket of Joy project. The annual project involves 1,500 volunteers and delivers 5,280 holiday baskets to deserving seniors.

Seniors who might otherwise be alone this holiday season will receive a gift and a visitor thanks to Volunteers of America’s Basket of Joy project. Over 1,500 volunteers will come together Saturday, December 12, to assemble and deliver 5,280 holiday fruit baskets to seniors throughout the Denver metro area.

“We want to bring joy to seniors in our community for the holidays,” said Bradley Gulley, Director of Volunteer Programs for Volunteers of America. “The thoughtfully crafted baskets mean so much to the recipients and having a volunteer come to their home to drop off the gift and wish them a happy holiday is truly priceless to someone who might not see any other visitors this time of year.”

The Basket of Joy program began in 1988 after a corrupt financial planner defrauded two elderly sisters of their entire life savings. Woody Paige, of the Denver Post, learned of this story and requested Christmas Cards from his readers to be sent to the sisters at their nursing home. With a partnership from Albertsons and Volunteers of America, this act of kindness grew from cards for two sisters to beautiful fruit baskets at the holiday times delivered to over 5,000 seniors in the Denver-metro area. Recipients include many homebound and low income seniors as well as senior recipients nominated by the community.

Basket of Joy could not happen without the support of Albertsons, The Denver Mattress Company, The Denver Post, InnovAge, Anadarko and all of the volunteers who assemble and deliver the baskets.

This program is so important because many seniors will be alone for the holidays and will not receive any presents or visits from their families, Gulley said.

“The holidays can be an especially lonely time for seniors and this fruit basket delivered by cheerful volunteers can truly brighten up their season.” Gulley said.

For more information about this and other holiday projects, visit http://www.voacolorado.org.

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