Born to parents in their 40s, Tammy Ferguson grew up with a heart for the elderly. When she was visiting her elderly mother at the care facility, she noticed a lot of “forgotten relatives.”
These were patients who had no visitors.
Heartbroken, she and her friends made a commitment to make sure that seniors in our community aren’t forgotten.
What is Warmth and Comfort for the Elderly?
Warmth and Comfort for the Elderly (WCE) is a charity here in Pickens County. They started creating handmade blankets and shawls for the elderly in November 2019. The organization is run by Tammy Ferguson, a retired Wren High School and Pickens High School school teacher.
Serving on the board with her are Sharon Moon as Treasurer, and Jo Ann Hart as Secretary. They met online, on Facebook. They have an extensive list of items they provide to senior healthcare facilities, hospice groups, and shut-ins still living at home.
You may have seen the collection boxes at Under the Carolina Moon, Front Porch Fixins, Integrative Yoga Therapy, YMCA Pickens or Earthworks in Easley. These are the WCE drop locations for things like toiletries, knit hats, scarves, and blankets.
What does WCE do?
WCE provides items for seniors regardless of their social or economic status. Volunteers handcraft blankets, throws, hats, scarves, mitts, shawls, bags for wheelchairs, walkers, and beds.
They also make sensory mitts, mats, and boards. They collect dolls for dementia patients, toiletries, entertainment items, snacks, and even clothing for individuals.
The list of items continues to grow as the need in the community grows. For example, recently Medicare stopped covering liquid nutrient supplements like Ensure and Boost. So patients, some of who are prescribed up to 3 per day, have to pay for these out of pocket. Individuals who can’t afford the drinks, go without them. When WCE found out, they began accepting donations for these (all but the high-protein variety).
The non-profit now serves hundreds of individuals. They cover 18 senior healthcare facilities, 5 hospice groups, and up to 200 shut-ins living at home. They work actively with the Easley Police Department to identify and help the elderly living at home.
A group of 14 “Delivery Angels” pick up and deliver the handmade and purchased items for monthly drives. They currently have 4-5 volunteers who sew but need many more to fill the need as they expand into the Upstate. They are also looking for volunteers who can knit and crochet, as well as those who can sort and transport the collected items.
How can you help WCE?
Warmth and Comfort for the Elderly are holding an Open House at the WCE Headquarters/ “She-shed” on October 30th. It will be held from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM at 149 Ivey Hayes Road in Pickens, SC. Refreshments will be provided, and donations will be accepted.
Besides cash donations, WCE is currently collecting and distributing “items of warmth:”
- Handmade or new blankets
For their Christmas stockings, they are looking for:
- Mouthwash (non-alcoholic)
- Individual Kleenex tissue packs
- Christmas cards
- Boost liquid nutrient drinks
Last year they collected and distributed over 5,000 cards, and are always collecting more.
They can be Christmas, Valentine’s, thinking of you, get well, or just blank cards that can be signed for any occasion. They will accept and deliver as many cards as they get!
Please join their Facebook Groups (here and here) for more information on how to donate and volunteer.
You can also contact them by phone and email: 864-668-1021 or 864-238-4652, email@example.com.