Seniors surprised with gifts of Beat the Heat baskets

From left, Cathy Petit, Shona Jones, Sandy Bowen, Renee Bell and Barbara Doster with the Beat the Heat baskets donated by HIPSS.

Seniors surprised with gifts of Beat the Heat baskets
August 29
00:30 2019

By Judie Holcomb-Pack

Seniors at Holland Homes, a senior apartment community sponsored by First Baptist on Highland, were surprised when members from HIPSS (Health Industry Professionals Serving Seniors) stopped by last Wednesday, Aug. 15, to deliver baskets of goodies to help them “beat the heat.”

Cathy Petit, chair of HIPSS outreach committee, said the committee “… thought about something to give back to others in our community. We do projects at the holidays, but usually not in the summer. “

Sandy Bowen, committee co-chair, added, “People think about kids going back to school in August, but often don’t think about the needs of seniors until the holidays. We know that lower-income seniors need our help.”

HIPSS members donated items to go into the “Beat the Heat” baskets over the course of several months and put the baskets together at their meeting on Aug. 15. The 114 baskets were enough for each resident of Holland Homes to have one.

Barbara Doster, Holland Homes property manager, and Shona Jones, the resident services coordinator, were thrilled that their residents were receiving this surprise gift. The buckets contained such items as sun visors, hats, sunglasses, deodorant, cleansing wipes, hand sanitizers, fans, soaps, toothbrushes and toothpaste, water, and other items.

Sylvia Phillips, a resident who has lived at Holland Homes for over ten years, said, “Wow … I’m surprised!” when she received a basket that contained a sun hat.

HIPSS outreach committee members are: Cathy Petit, chair; Sandy Bowen, co-chair; Elizabeth Hipsher, Selene Teague, Tempy Albright, Bonnie Joyce and Shona Jones. HIPSS was formed in 2007 to improve communication between agencies serving seniors and improve services across the board. The Chronicle supports HIPSS through their For Seniors Only pages which appear the last Thursday of the month. For more information about HIPSS, visit

Holland Homes, located at 780 N. Highland Ave., is a 114-unit senior adult independent living community of one-bedroom units for adults age 62 and older. Rents are income based and receive a Section 8 subsidy. The apartments, originally built in the mid-70s, were completely renovated in 2012 with energy-efficient appliances, new flooring, cabinetry and countertops, bathroom toilets, lavatories and showers/tubs. There is currently a waiting list for new residents. For more information, visit or call 336-448-0919.

Stopping by the community office, resident Mary Cherry smiled as she looked as the various items in her basket. Asked for her comment, she said simply, “I really appreciate it.”

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