Support local seniors by helping with ‘Adopt a Grandparent Day’

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Often what’s called the ‘golden years’ of life aren’t so golden. On average, 60 percent of residents in senior care facilities don’t get any visits from friends or family members, but it was a first-hand encounter that prompted a South Mississippi business woman to take action and rally the community to honor our elderly here in South Mississippi.

Kathy Rogers said, “My mother lived with us for several years. While she was here, she fell and hurt herself, and she ended up spending 30 days in a nursing home. While we were there we began to notice that people were lonely. People were lining up to visit with my husband when he came through the same time every day. When she came back, we were looking for a way as a business to give back to our local community. We came up with the idea to organize people to visit with our local nursing home residents.”

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And this is how the local nonprofit ‘Adopt a Grandparent’ was born back in 2014. Since then, the day has been set aside each year to honor South Mississippi’s elderly, reaching more than 1,500 residents at 35 local senior care facilities.

Although there are a few changes this year due to COVID, the mission remains the same and you can show a local senior support without even leaving your home this year. “Normally on our event we have volunteers who go into the facilities. But this year, of course, for health reasons, the volunteers will not be able to go into the facility, so we still want to make a difference. What we’re doing this year is we’re asking people to send us cards, letters, and drawings. We’re going to take those items and laminate them. That way the facilities can sanitize those items so they can distribute them to the residents. We’re also going to do a treasure box.”

You can also help fill one of those 35 treasure boxes. “Easiest way is just go to our Facebook page. There’s a link directly to our Amazon wish list. When you click on that, just go through and choose the items you want to purchase. You pay for them and they are shipped directly to us. All you have to do is just help us buy the items.”

For more information head over to their Facebook page at ‘Adopt a Grandparent Day.’ The deadline for donations is August 21st. ‘Adopt a Grandparent Day’ this year is on Saturday, September 12th.

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Toni started at WXXV News 25 in December of 2013, just three months after the news was launched. She has served as Assignment Editor, anchored for nearly two years, worked as a reporter for several years and hosted Coastal Connections for more than four years. Toni graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern Mississippi where she was editor of the Student Printz. She then did an internship on Capitol Hill, working for a U.S. Senator, then returned to Mississippi as a reporter at WDAM in Hattiesburg. After that, she moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, working as a reporter for FOX 25 in Biloxi, then crossing city lines to work at WLOX-TV news in Biloxi, starting out as a producer, then working as a photographer, reporter, weekend assignment editor and weekend anchor. She was among the station team that won the Edward Murrow and Peabody awards for coverage during Hurricane Katrina. Toni moved to the Lone Star State where she worked as the morning and noon anchor, investigative reporter and live shot reporter for KZTV Action 10 News, then KRIS TV News in Corpus Christi, Texas. Toni moved back to the Magnolia State to be with and take care of her family, working as a multi-media journalist and fill-in anchor at WDBD Fox 40 news in Jackson. After almost completing a second degree in filmmaking at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast, Toni transitioned back to news at News 25. Toni is blessed to have a wonderful support network of close family, friends and mentors, and she hopes to pay it forward. She has a three-legged chiweenie named Rocky Balboa because of his fighting spirit. She loves writing and has completed a novel that has been adapted into a screenplay, and has just finished another screenplay called "Delta Rose." She's currently working on a new legal thriller called "Fall From Grace." Stay tuned.... If you’d like to book a live in studio interview on News 25 Today, just email: tmiles@wxxv25.com. These interviews can have up to two guests, last about two minutes and showcase community events, non-profit organizations and things of interest to people in our area…and they’re FREE! Just send information about your event, including date, time, location, contact number and/or website for viewers wanting more information, along with the proper name and titles of the person or two people who will be interviewed, and Toni or producer Porsha Williams (pwilliams@wxxv25.com) will get back with you via email in a timely manner to book a date. Typical interview times are daily at: 5:45, 6:45, 7:45 or 8:45 am. Guests are asked to arrive about 30 minutes beforehand. You can also ask about booking a live shot on location for news events for our 6 and 7 am newscasts. We look forwarding to having you!