I grew up relatively poor in small-town northern Iowa. We always had clothes on our backs, food in our bellies, and a roof over our heads. The roof was courtesy of my mom’s hard work. The food was from our garden, or when times were tough, sometimes it was “government cheese” or groceries from the church. The clothes on our back often were there due to the generosity of others, be it from hand-me-downs or donations.

I have never forgotten those moments of help. Not just the clothes or the food when we were hungry, but the lesson learned: generosity can be life-changing to those in need. As I have gotten older, and in a position to help others, I have discovered another: that you often get more from being generous than you gave.

For years, our staff has helped coordinate donations for residents of Sunnycrest Manor, a care facility for the elderly and those with cognitive disabilities in Dubuque County. In the past, our clerks helped to put up a Christmas tree for donations at the courthouse and staff would help deliver items left by the public for residents.

While dropped-off items are appreciated, COVID-19 and the at-risk nature of Sunnycrest’s residents have made the donation process increasingly challenging.

Sunnycrest’s staff has asked that, instead of dropped-off items, those wishing to help should purchase items directly from Sunnycrest’s Amazon Wish List or make monetary donations directly to the Sunnycrest Auxiliary.

The Auxiliary uses these donated funds year-round to facilitate events and meet other resident needs.

Residents of Sunnycrest have little in the way of financial resources and donations make a tremendous amount of difference in their lives, especially during the holidays. I would ask you — if you have the ability — to make a difference in the life of a Sunnycrest resident.

Information, including links to the wish list, can be found on the Dubuque County Government and Dubuque County Assessor Facebook pages, or by contacting Sally Frick with the Auxiliary at 563-564-6678. Thank you for being a “Santa to Sunnycrest."