By Taylor Boyd
The Patrick County Alzheimer’s Group LLC is again holding its Love Light project to help remember and honor loved ones during the holiday season and raise funds for future projects.
Sally Smith, organizer, said the Love Lights are $5 per light. The lights resemble “golden angels which will have the names given by donors placed on them, along with the choice of ‘In Honor of’ or ‘In Memory of.’”
Donors also will receive small angel wings to place on a necklace or bracelet in remembrance of their donation and their loved ones, Smith said.
November 30 is the last day the organization is accepting donations.
The organization plans “to do what it did last year and put up the Christmas tree” in the courtyard at the Patrick County Circuit Court, Smith said, adding the tree will be put up the week before the Christmas Parade.
“We’re going to put the love light angels on the tree the day before the parade,” she said, adding “It’s a good gift for the holidays and a lovely gesture. A good way to show someone you’re thinking of them is to donate with their name.”
Last year, the organization received about 400 names and raised more than $700 through the project. “It just amazed me we raised that much,” Smith said, adding she hopes the group raises more funds this year.
“It takes a lot to keep us going, and with COVID-19, we haven’t been able to hold as many events as we would like. We had one big yard sale a few weeks ago and it rained all day that Saturday,” she said. “We made a little money, and every dollar we make tickles us to death.”
That is because proceeds from fundraisers are used to help those who suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia, she said.
“We started as Alzheimer’s only organization but moved towards helping people with either disease because they both affect the memory and mind,” Smith said. “We buy adult diapers, ensure nutritional drinks, and pay for feedings not covered by Medicare. We also buy disposable washcloths, gloves, and furnish anything that is needed.”
The organization also helps to provide Christmas for its clients, as well as nursing home residents, Smith said.
“We also buy Wander bracelets for the people who get lost,” she said of bracelets that are purchased for the Patrick County Sheriff’s Office, which then distributes them to those in need. Each Wander Bracelet costs around $340, she said.
The organization also recently started a new project to help patients and their caregivers.
“We had a volunteer join who has her CNA license and her cosmetology license. So, we just started going to people’s houses and doing patients’ hair,” Smith said.
“Just because people have Alzheimer’s doesn’t mean they can’t feel pretty. Getting their hair done actually makes a lot of people feel better, and the risk of exposure to COVID is reduced because they’re staying at home,” she added.
Registration forms for Love Lights can be picked up at the Patrick County Alzheimer’s Group LLC office, WHEO radio station, and the Patrick County Department of Social Services.
Checks made payable to the Patrick County Alzheimer’s Group LLC may be mailed to Patrick County Alzheimer’s Group LLC P.O. Box 1301, Stuart, Va., 24171.
The names of loved ones honored or remembered will be published in The Enterprise.
Anyone interested in volunteering is asked to call the organization’s office at (276) 698-2901, or Smith at (276) 694-7358.