ROCKWALL, TX (Nov. 15, 2021) Each year, dedicated volunteers with Soroptimist Rockwall prepare holiday feasts and treats for residents at Reese Manor – a senior housing complex located at 100 Lake Meadows Drive. Their generous efforts are part of the Soroptimist S.T.A.R.S. (Soroptimist Toasting Area Retired Seniors) project that began over 17 years ago.
As Soroptimist member and S.T.A.R.S. co-chair Cindy Lindley explains, back then the Soroptimist offered programs for children, teens and women. But they also wanted to help the senior citizens of Rockwall County, so they turned their attention to the residents living at Reese Manor. Now once per quarter, and at Thanksgiving and Christmas, the club hosts a themed Sunday brunch to celebrate the birthdays of Reese Manor seniors. They present gift cards and goody bags filled with essentials.
“Our first Christmas we bought presents for each resident. But after talking with the seniors, we found out that their wish lists included things like paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, hygiene products and bottled water. From that day on, it was decided we’d give them gift cards to Walmart. Each resident gets a $50 gift card on their birthday and a $100 gift card for Christmas. They also receive a goody bag with some of those essential items at each party,” said Lindley.
In addition, Soroptimist Rockwall advocates for the seniors, helping them overcome any challenges that might arise – like purchasing a wheelchair for a resident with mobility issues, helping another with a dental bill, and acquiring a freezer so that an elderly couple can minimize their trips to the grocery store.
The S.T.A.R.S. project has won the South Central Region of Soroptimist Dreams in Action Award two times in the past 15 years. Debbie Branch, Soroptimist and former member of Leadership Rockwall Class of 2019 – helped inspire LR2019’s class project in which they helped remodel and renovate Reese Manor with fresh paint, new washer and dryer, new light fixtures and sign, updated patio areas and more.
“The Soroptimists and the residents have formed a lasting bond. The residents always are so happy, but Soroptimist of Rockwall are the ones truly blessed,” Lindley said.
By Dawn Redig, Blue Ribbon News.
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