By Meg LaPorte
Each year, the auxiliary club at Villa Siena Senior Living Community in Mountain View, Calif., purchases Christmas gifts for its residents, and every year Corine Bernard, executive director, sees a parade of well-meaning items come and eventually disappear. “I’ve seen grabbers, cup holders, lap buddies, and more,” says Bernard. “You see them here and there but most of them, they fall by the wayside.”
An Annual Challenge
Last year, Kathleen McCarthy, vice president of the auxiliary, took on the challenge of finding that perfect gift. “I went online and saw some carry all bags, but most of them were the same color and did not offer a variety of designs and colors,” she says. “But then I found HDS Medallion®, a new Senior Housing Forum partner, and I saw that they are colorful and functional, and they are also made in the United States, while all of the other bags are made in China.”
Made in Massachusetts, HDS Medallion Designer CarryAll Bags were created specifically for walkers, wheelchairs, power chairs, scooters, and also to be carried alone as a bag. McCarthy bought 105 of them for residents in different styles, and only two were exchanged. “That’s unusual,” she says.
A Gift that Endures
One year later, McCarthy reports that the recipients seem very satisfied with their gifts. “The residents, they just love them,” she says. “And the bags are well made and easy to use. They also fit on wheelchairs and even on two-sided walkers as well.
Bernard says she now sees the bags all over the community. “I see them more than any other type of gifts they’ve gotten in the past. Even yesterday, I was noticing them, and they look like they are holding up very well,” she says.
Carol Rady, founder of HDS Medallion, says the vision of the company is to provide fashionable and functional bags to people who use mobility devices. “Mobility devices help people regain independence; HDS Medallion bags help people regain style,” she says.
“We use premier cotton and other quality fabrics and special hardware to make the bags,” Rady says. “Since they ordered in bulk, we were able to give them a discount. I have since enjoyed hearing about the residents’ reactions and seeing their pictures. “We often see a psychological lift occur with our bags, plus they allow the person to carry their personal items easily.”
When McCarthy visits Villa Siena now, she says it’s thrilling to look at the walkers and see different colors. “You would think they were new,” she notes. “It makes me happy to look at them.”
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