For the past 17 years, the “Be a Santa to a Senior” program has been making a difference in the lives of local seniors for the holidays. Due to the pandemic, things are working a little differently this year. In this week’s Civic Service Report we’ll show you how you can safely get involved in spreading some Christmas cheer and why organizers say this type of event is so important.
“They’re very appreciative of anything and everything we can send them.” Every year around this time, home instead senior care partners community members with a senior at a long term care facility to help spread some Christmas cheer through their be a Santa to a senior program. “It’s a special time of year to make a senior feel like they’re loved and needed, because they’re so isolated and many of them have outlived not only their friends but their families and things like that. So it’s a great way to show them people still care about them, especially this time of year.”
Normally, you could find these trees around your community. But this year due to the pandemic things are a little different. “With COVID, we’re trying to do as much as we can without touching the presents and things like that. So we have virtual trees and drop off trees.” In addition to finding a tree near you and grabbing one of those, there’s also the option of virtual trees. “We’ve already uploaded these clients with their wishes. They go on Amazon to ship them and are being shipped here so we can put them in bags and deliver them to all the clients.”
And those bags that Montgomery mentioned are also quite special. “Little Fish Daycare Center says, “We didn’t even need any this year, but for the last 3 years, they’ve been providing gift bags to our seniors, so we’re using the leftover from last year, this year.”
Another new twist this year is that each gift given to a senior will include a pen pal gift. Montgomery says home care corporate started the pen pal program this year to help seniors feel less isolated.
The deadline to drop off gift items is December 14th. If you’re looking for more information regarding the “Be a Santa to a Senior” program and how to support a senior this Christmas or how to volunteer with their wrapping event you can go online to beasantatoasenior.com.