Thieves Steal Gifts For Homebound Seniors

The Area 10 Agency on Aging distributes hundreds of gifts and necessities to homebound seniors each holiday season.

Area 10

Photo: Bill Shaw/WTIU News

Area 10 Agency on Aging distributes small gifts and health supplies to seniors around the holiday season.

After a thief stole hundreds of gifts from the home of a senior center volunteer on Wednesday night, the group is scrambling to meet its holiday obligations. Area 10 Agency on Aging is pushing back its holiday delivery to area seniors with the hope of recouping some of its loss.

The Area 10 Agency on Aging distributes hundreds of gifts and necessities to homebound seniors each holiday season, but the robbery of the volunteer’s garage where the gifts were being stored has left the Ellettsville Agency struggling to find replacements.

Joe Yonkman works for Home Instead Senior Care, which partners with Area 10 to provide gifts to disadvantaged seniors every year. He says it’ll likely take donations to replenish the gift supply.

“We’re partnering with them to get everything replaced as quickly as possible. Area 10 has a large volunteer network that is going to go out to shop for the gifts, rebuy them, repackage them, rewrap them, and start the distribution process late next week,” he says.

Area 10 Executive Director Kerry Conway says it’s likely the thief did not know what was in the gift bags when they broke into the volunteer’s Ellettsville home, where the presents were being held.

“It’s difficult for me to imagine why somebody would have wanted them. These were gifts; you know I’m thinking of one woman who asked for a magazine and a chap stick. These are not huge elaborate gifts these are not gifts that would really be appropriate for much anybody other than a senior. I can’t imagine why anybody would have wanted to take 400 of them,” he says.

Bloomington Police were notified of the robbery Thursday morning, after members of the agency found the garage empty.

Contributions to Area 10 can be dropped off at Area 10’s Ellettsville office at 631 Edgewood Drive. Donations can also be made via Area 10’s website.

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