When seniors in the community make a wish, Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group steps in to help make it come true.
For the 15th year, Atlantic Bay Cares, the philanthropic arm of Virginia Beach-based Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, has organized and held its annual Senior Wish List program.
Brian Holland, Atlantic Bay Mortgage CEO, said the program originated in the Lynchburg office with Ron Toland.
“Ron was passionate about seniors and brought us the idea and then ran with it in Lynchburg,” Holland said of the manager who has since passed away. “It was such a success we expanded the program to a number of our offices the next year.”
Atlantic Bay partners with Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia each year to gather the seniors’ wishes.
Employees, as well as their family and friends, fulfill the wishes, wrap them as gifts and deliver them to the Atlantic Bay offices. The program was opened to the public this year.
“If for whatever reason all of the wishes are not granted, corporate will go out and buy the rest of the gifts so that no one is left behind,” said Emily Brown, public relations specialist for Atlantic Bay, noting the gift purchases begin right after Thanksgiving and run until the week before Christmas.
“We then organize all the gifts and put them in numerical order for Senior Services,” Brown said.” Senior Services usually comes with trucks and vans a couple days after and the Atlantic Bay employees help load up the cars. Senior Services delivers the presents right before Christmas so the seniors have something to open during the holiday.”
Colleen Downes, community services manager for Senior Services, said the seniors are always so happy and surprised to have their holiday wishes met.
“One client we encountered cried over receiving a microwave,” Downes said. “Theirs had stopped working, and they could not afford to buy another one. We are so grateful that we were able to meet the needs of so many seniors this season.”
This year, Atlantic Bay employees wrapped about 1,100 gifts for a small fee and with additional donations raised more than $600 for Senior Services. Employees also made time for caroling at local nursing homes.
Celia Baskette, Atlantic Bay’s public relations team lead, recalled caroling in the dementia sector of a nursing home .
“A few of the patients recognized the songs and started to hum and sing along,” she said. “The nurses were so happy to see the patients react so positively to it.”
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