One of Stay at Home in Wilton’s goals for the winter of 2020 was to support the town’s seniors through a holiday season like no other. Because of the need for social distancing, members of the organization dedicated to enriching life in Wilton for senior residents had to brainstorm creative ways of celebrating.
“Without in-person events, such as our annual Holiday Party, promoting connections between our members has been a huge challenge this year,” explained Sally Maraventano Kirmser, Stay at Home in Wilton’s president.
However—via Zoom, special shopping events, drive-bys, and holiday package drop-offs—the spirit of the holidays was delivered in a new package.
Stay at Home in Wilton is incredibly appreciative of all the support from several local businesses that provided members with special shopping hours; thanks to their generosity, seniors could feel more comfortable visiting stores that may have otherwise been too crowded. Wilton’s Open House and Town Center Toys opened their doors early for members and, in turn, members were able to support their local businesses.
In addition, Stay at Home in Wilton helped Social Services with its holiday meal delivery. When it was announced that Social Services was providing meals for Wilton’s seniors, Stay at Home in Wilton called its members to see if they wanted to receive a meal, and if members could not make it to Comstock Center to pick it up, volunteers from Stay at Home delivered the meals directly to the seniors’ homes. Stay at Home in Wilton and Wilton’s Social Services often work together to promote programs to help Wilton’s seniors.
In lieu of the annual Holiday Party, Stay at Home in Wilton provided members with a “Party in a Box” via a festive drive-thru at the Wilton Historical Society. Members were greeted by volunteer elves who handed them a parcel with a beautiful Poinsettia, cookies, a program for that evening’s concert and an electric candle to light during the holiday season. For members who could not drive to the Historical Society, the elves dropped off their boxes personally.
Later that night the concert, party and singalong was held via Zoom. During the singing of “Silent Night,” everyone lit their electric candles to “Share the Light”—capping off a festive day.
For added holiday celebration, Stay at Home in Wilton organized a Zoom gathering to watch the holiday classic movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, along with an ugly Christmas sweater party where members exchanged their family holiday traditions and memories. At the end of the Zoom, one member remarked, “This was the highlight of my day,” confirming that all the effort made to preserve Christmas cheer was 100% worth it.
Stay at Home in Wilton’s “Handyman” program was busy helping members by fixing their lights and performing other household tasks requiring an extra hand to complete. For several members, it makes a big difference and can relieve the simple stresses of household maintenance.
“Supporting our seniors is so important this year as normal celebrations had to be altered because of the pandemic. The most valuable thing we do, especially in times like these, is help our members remain upbeat and connected to our community with the hope that our terrific schedule of social events will return soon,” added Maraventano Kirmser.
For information about joining Stay at Home in Wilton or to help Wilton’s seniors through volunteer opportunities, please visit the Stay at Home in Wilton website.