The Patrick County Alzheimer’s Group, LLC is holding its fourth annual Love Lights project to help remember and honor loved ones during the holiday season.
Sally Smith, organizer, said the names from donors are placed on wooden angels. A light is then attached to craft the Love Lights. The lights then adorn the Christmas tree in the courtyard at the Patrick County Circuit Court. The lights will be turned on at the Grand Illumination Tree Lighting Ceremony on Dec. 2.
The Love Lights are $5 per light and can be done “In Honor of” or “In Memory of” a person. Donors will also receive small angel wings in remembrance of the donation and loved ones.
The final day to purchase a Love Light is by noon on Dec. 2, Smith said. That will allow her time to get them on the tree.
Smith said last year’s event was a success for the group and raised about $900. Proceeds from the fundraiser are used to help those with dementia.
“They are used for any need that a dementia patient has within a 60-mile radius of Stuart. With the funds we help with nursing care, they’re used for diapers, under pads, wipes, bibs, anything that you need for personal care,” she said.
The organization has also bought glasses for patients, a stove, and helped pay people’s electric bills.
Part of the funds are also used to provide stipends for Alzheimer’s patients.
“If you’re our patient and you’re having to pay a nurse, we give you $150 a month for supplies. You can use that to pay that nurse, but you’ve got to hire them and it’s up to you who you hire,” she said.
The agency also helps its clients with other needed items, according to Smith.
“For example, and this has happened many times, if they need a ramp, we get in touch with the Stuart United Methodist Church, and they’ll build the ramp. We’ll pay for part of the ramp for the families,” she said, adding the organization does “anything that will make that patient’s life more comfortable.”
Smith said the biggest expense is furnishing the monitoring bracelets the Patrick County Sheriff’s Office uses for Project Lifesaver, a 501(c)3 organization that uses radio tracking to locate at risk individuals suffering with Alzheimer’s dementia, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
The bracelets cost $340 each, Smith said, adding “I just bought three more last week.”
Smith said the organization also plans to give Christmas gifts to all the nursing homes in the area.
“It’s not much, lotion, deodorant, toothbrushes, combs, and a brush. We put them in little baskets” along with a Christmas card, she said.
The group also provides a small Christmas party, if possible. Before the pandemic, it also held a party for Alzheimer’s patients at the Blue Ridge Therapy Connection once a month, she said.
Registration forms for Love Lights have been printed in this newspaper. They also can be picked up at the Patrick County Alzheimer’s Group, LLC office, WHEO radio station, and the Patrick County Department of Social Services.
The lights also can be purchased by calling the group’s office.
Checks made payable to the Patrick County Alzheimer’s Group, LLC may be mailed to Patrick County Alzheimer’s Group, LLC, P.O. Box 1301, Stuart, Va., 24171.
The names of loved ones honored or remembered will be published in The Enterprise.
Anyone interested in volunteering is asked to call the organization’s office at (276) 698-2901 or Smith at (276) 694-7358.