‘Holiday Helpers’ connects residents of extended care facility with ‘secret Santas’


ONEIDA — Oneida Health Extended Care Facility, in conjunction with the Oneida Health Foundation, started a new program called, “Holiday Helpers.”

The program will allow anyone who wishes to donate a gift to a resident, to do so through Amazon.com, in a secure and easy way, without worrying about the possibility of transferring any form of illness, including COVID-19, to a population who is at high-risk. 

Could you imagine being told that you cannot see any of your family or friends over the holiday season? Could you imagine having to remain isolated over the holidays based on your age or underlying condition?

This is what the 130 Extended Care Residents at Oneida Health, or any other nursing home, are faced with this 2020 holiday season, and Oneida Health Foundation’s Board of Directors decided they wanted to offer a solution.

The Amazon Wish List is comprised of items that were specifically requested by each resident and other more generic activity-based items which can be used by the entire facility.

These items will be provided directly to the resident during the holiday, to help brighten their day and holiday season.

The link for the Holiday Helpers Wish List is located at: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/362D4CMB4C7J0?ref_=wl_share.

“These contributions purchase items which will have an extremely positive effect on our residents,” said Fred Scerbo, Oneida Health Nursing Home administrator.

“With stricter visitation policies, due to age and frailty, these gifts will allow individuals to increase their quality of life during a very stressful time of year and during isolation. Feeling special and loved during the holiday season is extremely important to meet the psychosocial needs of our residents who are here for rehabilitation or long-term care, especially during this necessary time of isolation, due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.

Oneida Health Care Extended Care Facility will use these contributions to reduce the likelihood of unintentional spread of any virus, including COVID-19, to reduce the likelihood of illness or death.

Any questions or cash/online contributions can be made to the Oneida Health Foundation on behalf of “ECF Fund” to assist residents from the community by sending a check to: Oneida Health Foundation, 321 Genesee St. Oneida, N.Y. 13421, going online to the Giving Tab at www.oneidahealth.org, or by calling 315-361-2169 to process a payment by phone.



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