Gift bags ready to be delivered by sheriff’s deputies. Image from San Diego Sheriff video

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department delivered some Christmas cheer to seniors this year, bringing gift baskets to 135 seniors enrolled in the You Are Not Alone program.

The holidays can be a challenging time for seniors living alone, which is why the YANA program, which ensures daily telephone calls and a weekly visit from a senior volunteer patrol team year-round, is important. With YANA, if no one picks up the phone, a deputy follows up with a welfare check.

Some 13 sheriff’s department stations and substations participated in surprise visits this holiday season, including North Coastal, Rancho San Diego, Vista, Poway, Ramona, Santee and Lemon Grove. The deliveries were done while safely observing social distance requirements amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The donated gift baskets were filled with blankets, shirts, toiletries, hand sanitizers, pet food and $25 grocery gift cards. Some stations personalized their giveaways with jackets, socks, gloves, homemade cookies, pet toys, pain relief patches and additional $35 grocery gift cards.

Sheriff’s deputies also serenaded seniors wearing face masks from a safe distance.

The Honorary Deputy Sheriff’s Association received a $10,000 grant from the San Diego Senior Community Foundation for YANA program gift baskets.

–City News Service

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