Gifts bring joy and love to nursing home residents

Gifts bring joy and love to nursing home residents
Diane Covington and her cadre of eager volunteers deliver more than 500 gift bags to local nursing homes

Through the Adopt a Grandparent program, Concord resident Diane Covington delivers a bit of holiday cheer to isolated seniors in local nursing homes.

Although it can get hectic gathering funds and assembling the more than 500 gifts, the payoff is the delight on the recipients’ faces.

“The day of the deliveries, it’s a blast to have a whole entourage of people,” Covington says. “Several of the years, we’ve had high schoolers bring guitars or flutes and play music. The seniors’ faces light up when a high school kid comes in.”

She says local dentists, attorneys and contractors always donate generously to the program, now in its 15th year.

“Rotary has also been very supportive. And a lot of members of the Concord Chamber,” adds Covington, who makes local connections through her work as a Mary Kay rep.

After starting with one nursing home, the Mary Kay Adopt a Grandparent program has grown to five in Concord, Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Antioch and Pittsburg.

“The residents get big smiles,” said Ginger O’Dell of San Miguel Villa in Concord, where all 185 residents get gifts. “Just to have someone give them something or give them a pat on the shoulder, it means a lot to them.”

For $25, any local family or company can help Covington provide a gift package of unscented lotion, lip balm, cozy socks and a plush toy. She will be delivering them the week of Dec. 16.

For more information, contact Covington by email at