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Thorpe shop owner creates campaign to help the elderly

A Jim Thorpe businesswoman has created a campaign dedicated to help the elderly generation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Maria Loyd, owner of Artisanal Gifts on 103 Broadway St., created the Elderly Red Campaign on behalf of the elderly generation and her small business, Mabacol Shoes, which is a brand of Artisanal Gifts.

She features handmade products using natural and recycled ingredients and materials.

Loyd said, “A lot of my customers are coming to my gallery for my wearable art, my rice husks soles shoes which the artistic fabric is a native indigenous Kuna learned technique.”

The technique, Loyd said, consists of using recycled clothing and sawing layer over layer, creating míticas figures or abstract expressions or representation of contact with nature, which she has been directing her line of shoes to people who have back, knee and hip pain.

Loyd said her business created a community-oriented campaign inviting everyone to be aware of anything red on doors, as red on a door means a lonely elder in need.

“I am offering help to all the elderly generation who live alone and need of food, groceries … I am willing to help someone in need,” she said. “I am also inviting you to put something red on the outside of your door if you are an elder living alone so someone could help faster.”

Loyd said she created the campaign once government regulations extended the quarantine from two weeks initially to four weeks then longer.

“I was thinking about my own customers who live alone, and the news of the National Health Department explained about how the virus could be mortal for an elderly person,” she said.

“They are terrified to go out for groceries, like most of us of course, but the (older) generation is more susceptible to contracting the virus and dying from the contagion than a young man.”

Loyd said she hopes to achieve the awareness of the red tone on doors in the elderly generations living alone in the community to teach them how to request food help so that not just she, but other people can help them faster.

She said people can help her cause by spreading the word; helping their own neighborhood with the elderly living alone-specific community; bring awareness of red tone on doors; and by buying her products, shoes, natural jewelry or bags. Since her gallery is closed, Loyd said they can reach out by texting her at 570-657-7675.

Loyd said she doesn’t receive donations, but rather, she is donating 10% of her profit to help kids in different countries, as well as foster kids in the United States.

Additionally, she said she is also donating $10 from every pair of shoes she sells.

Loyd said people interested in donating food can do so at the Carbon County Area Office on Aging; West End Food Pantry; Lehigh County Office of Aging and Adult Services in Allentown; and Philadelphia Corporation for Aging.

Maria Loyd, owner of Artisanal Gifts, 103 Broadway St. in Jim Thorpe, distributes items to help the elderly generation during the coronavirus pandemic as part of her Elderly Red Campaign. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Maria Loyd, owner of Artisanal Gifts, 103 Broadway St. in Jim Thorpe, has created the Elderly Red Campaign dedicated to help the elderly generation during the coronavirus pandemic. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO