By Katie White, County of San Diego Communications Office
Photo: Maritza Beltran, left, and Leticia Faucher, from the County’s Public Administrator/Public Guardian/Public Conservator’s office, load up their vehicle with donated gifts.
December 24, 2019 (San Diego) -- Staff from the County’s Public Administrator, Guardian, and Conservator’s Office are doing their part to brighten the holidays for the clients they serve throughout the year. They are delivering holiday gifts to dozens of men and women in their care.
The PA/PG/PC office serves as the legally appointed guardian or conservator for people found by the courts to be unable to take care of themselves or their assets. The people are generally older, frail and vulnerable adults who are at risk or have been a victim of abuse or neglect.
“Most of them don’t have any family and a personalized gift can really make their day,” said Melissa Hubbard, PA/PG/PC Deputy Public Administrator/Guardian.
This holiday season the PA/PG/PC office collected nearly 2,500 items during its annual gift drive. Items range from clothes and blankets to toiletries and stuffed animals. Staff wrap each gift individually, and they deliver them to the clients during their monthly routine visits.
“Regardless of their age, all of our clients enjoy stuffed animals,” said Marisa Payton, PA/PG/PC Estate Assistant. “One of my clients in her 80s had me put the stuffed animal I brought for her in her wheelchair so she could always have it with her.”
“I visited one of my clients and he tore open all his gifts immediately after I set them down,” said Hubbard. “I brought him some clothing items and he layered all the clothes on top of each other once he unwrapped them.”
Many of the care facilities are kept cold for medical purposes, so warm clothes and blankets are always a huge hit during the gift deliveries.
“We also always run out of gift cards,” said Payton. “Especially the younger adults really appreciate receiving gift cards because those allow them to go to the store and pick out a gift for themselves or a friend.”
The Public Administrator, Guardian, and Conservator’s Office organizes an annual holiday drive each November. Any of the items that aren’t distributed over the holidays are kept for clients’ needs throughout the year, or held for the following year’s gift drive.