With Thursday's gloomy weather and Christmas right around the corner, Villa Rica police thought it would be a good day to spread some good cheer among the town's senior residents.
More than 100 seniors received a blanket and a tin box of cookies, and a greeting from a Villa Rica officer, who even asked if there was anything they could assist the seniors.
“We have been doing this each year for the past six or seven years,” said Capt. Keith Shaddix. “Every year we try to reach out to different groups all over the city. We do this to let them know that we are thinking of them and if they ever need our help, we will be there.”
In the past, Shaddix said that the officers have gone to public housing several times, Conners Senior Village, assisted living and nursing homes.
“We have had churches call us too to let us know which seniors need help,” Shaddix said. “This year we chose Bellevue Senior Village because they have 95 units that we could help. We had planned this out with management. However, the residents had no idea that we were coming to do this.”
Many seniors opened their doors and some were a little startled, but when officers handed the residents a blanket and tin box of cookies, their faces lit up.
“Part of the money that is donated to us for our Shop With a Cop, that allows us to help kids, helps make this happen,” Shaddix said. “We go door to door but for those who do not answer we will leave the items with management so that they will get them when they come home.”
Bellevue Senior Village’s property manager, Philys Turner, walked with officers to help them reach out to the residents and to see who was home or not.
“The first time that Capt. Shaddix came to me and asked me about this, I cried when he left,” Turner said. “It is wonderful to see that other people really do care for seniors like I do. These people are so delighted when they are visited. I am overwhelmed with joy to see this but the residents are even more overjoyed.”
Turner said with this time of year being busy, not many seniors get the chance to see their families because they may live far away.
“To just have someone thinking about the seniors warms their hearts,” Turner said. “All month long I have tried to keep them busy with activities. Some have come up to me and were so happy because no one has ever done that for them before.”