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Child care specialists spearhead effort to aid local senior citizens

January 18, 2011

Donna Davis (l) and Jennifer Patterson of the Inyo County Superintendent of Schools’ Special Education Department. The ICSOS is sponsoring a Valentine’s Day fundraiser, “Socks and Slippers of Love,” collecting cozy footwear for local seniors in assisted living facilities in Bishop. Look for donation boxes around town. Photo by Mike Bodine

With hopes of generous donations from locals, donation boxes for “Socks and Slippers of Love” will be set up at several locations in Bishop today.
Depending on how well the boxes are filled, many Bishop area senior citizens could be sporting new, warm and cozy footwear for Valentine’s Day.
Sponsored by the Inyo County Superintendent of Schools and its Special Education Department, the fundraiser of sorts is asking for new footwear – men’s and women’s – to brighten the spirits and warm the toes of seniors in the city’s care center facilities for the heart-shaped holiday in February.
The donated footwear will be delivered to residents of Sterling Heights and the Bishop Care Center on Valentine’s Day, Monday, Feb. 14. Preschool students will be making Valentine’s for the seniors, too.
“It’s a way to do something for the community and for the seniors,” said Jennifer Patterson of the Heart-to-Hand Family Resource Center. She added that seniors are sometimes left out of the fundraising market.
“We’re doing this out of love for the elderly and it’s a way to bridge the gap between the young and the old,” said Donna Davis of the Small Steps Infant Program.
Patterson and Davis came up with the idea for “Socks and Slippers of Love.” They both work with developmentally challenged children from birth to 5 years of age.
Patterson is the director of the Heart to Hand Family Resource Center and Library. The center and library is a valuable tool for parents to find help, be it contacts for specialized care or information on a specific ailment or problem. It is also a place for parents to take their child for evaluations if they suspect developmental problems with their baby.
Davis directs the Small Steps Infant Program specializing in early intervention. Davis and Patterson said the key to getting children who are behind, developmentally, on the right track is to recognize a problem early. They said the earlier a child is diagnosed and treated, the less likely the chance the child will have to seek help later in life.
Davis said this is not only good for the child, but saves the parents from undue stress and heartache later on.
Davis added that business at the centers and programs is steady with 3-4 families referred each month.
The donation boxes for “Socks and Slippers of Love” will be placed at Kmart, Rite Aid, the office of The Inyo Register, Child Care Connection or the ICSOS Office, both located at 166 Grandview St., Bishop.

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