By Cheril Vernon

Messenger Copy Editor

GRAPELAND – Are you looking for something to do during the holidays – or something to do with your family to show them that helping others at this time of the year is sharing the true Christmas spirit?

The non-profit Adopt-a-Grandparent of Houston County organization needs volunteers to help decorate 1,680 cookies for gift bags for more than 750 area Meals on Wheels senior citizens.

Volunteers will be decorating cookies from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, Dec. 13-15 at Grace Bible Church in Grapeland.

“We are still in need of several volunteers to help decorate the cookies. I need for anyone interested to contact me to sign up. I want to make sure we have enough help for each night,” Adopt-a-Grandparent Houston County Coordinator Brenda Owens said Friday, Dec. 9. “I am very excited that the youth groups of Percilla Community Church and Grace Bible Church will be helping, as well as the Houston County LEO Club.

To contact Owens to help decorate, call 936-222-9781 or e-mail aagbowens@gmail.com.

The cookies will go inside a gift bag for Meals on Wheels recipients in Houston, Anderson and Nacogdoches counties.

“Adopt-a-Grandparent is an opportunity to give Christmas to those in Houston County who are unseen and often forgotten: Meals on Wheels recipients,” Owens said. “Houston County currently serves 275 homebound elderly and infirm. For many of these residents, Meals on Wheels is the only human contact they have each and every week. It is my hope to reach out to them and let them know they are an important and valuable part of our community.”

Each gift is a Christmas-themed, decorated white lunch sack created by a child in elementary school. Many of the children sign their first name and age on the Christmas card enclosed in the bag. A hand cream also is put into each bag.

The project is funded by local individuals and businesses who donated to Adopt-a-Grandparent.

Volunteers also are needed to assemble the Christmas bags from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17 at Grace Bible Church in Grapeland.

On Monday, Dec. 18, the decorated, filled Christmas gift bags will be sent to the local Meal on Wheels agencies for delivery to the area Meals on Wheels clients.

Altogether, Anderson County has 239 Meals on Wheels recipients and Nacogdoches County has 240, along with Houston County’s 275 Meals on Wheels clients for a total of 754 total seniors.

“I am very excited that the youth groups of Percilla Community Church and Grace Bible Church will be helping, as well as the Houston County LEO Club,” Owens said. “We are still in need of several volunteers.”

Volunteers also are needed to assemble the Christmas bags from 4 to 8 p.m. Dec. 17 at Grace Bible Church in Grapeland.

On Dec. 18, the decorated, filled Christmas gift bags will be sent to the local Meal on Wheels agencies for delivery to the area Meals on Wheels clients.

To give a donation or to volunteer to help with the Adopt-a-Grandparent program, call Owens at 936-222-9781 or 936-687-350 and leave a message or e-mail Adopt-a-Grandparent (Houston County) at aag.bowens@gmail.com.