Be a Santa to a Senior: Requests Expected to Jump in Tough Economy
Nov 2, 2011, 2:56 p.m.
Be a Santa to a Senior®, the popular campaign that delivered 1,000 gifts to local seniors in need last year, had its annual kick-off meeting on Oct. 13 in Lebanon. The community service program is gearing up for the coming holiday season, when some seniors may need more of the bare necessities to survive.
“Many older adults continue to struggle in a down economy, particularly those who live alone with no family nearby to help provide resources,” said Maggie Julian, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Hermitage, Dekalb, Smith and Wilson counties.
Businesses and organizations - including GNRC, Lebanon Senior Center, Meals on Wheels of Wilson County, SCAN, Friendship Christian School, Castle Heights Elementary, Gladeville Elementary, Rutland Elementary, the Girls Scouts of Wilson County and the area office of the Home Instead Senior Care® network – have partnered to help seniors who might find themselves in need during the holidays.
The Be a Santa to a Senior® program isn’t just about gifts, though. It is also intended to help stimulate social interaction for older adults who are unlikely to have guests during the holidays.
Before this holiday season, participating local nonprofit organizations will identify needy and isolated seniors and provide those names to the local Home Instead Senior Care office.
Between Nov. 11 and Dec. 15, Christmas trees featuring ornaments with the seniors’ first names only and their gift requests will be placed in the following locations: CedarStone Bank. the Lebanon Chamber of Commerce, the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce, Rutland Place of Mt. Juliet, USCC/ Hutsenpillar Insurance, Summit Medical Center, CVS, Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee, US Bank of Mt. Juliet, Willis Group, Summit Walk-In Clinic, Elmcroft Assisted Living, Star Physical Therapy, Beauty Boutique and Crystal Couture.
Holiday shoppers can pick up an ornament, buy items on the list and return them unwrapped to the tree, along with the ornament attached.
“We hope holiday shoppers will open their hearts to those seniors who have given so much to make our community a better place,” Julian said.
Julian’s business enlists the volunteer help of its staff, senior- care business associates, non-profit workers and others to collect, wrap and distribute the gifts.
A gift-wrapping day, during which hundreds of the presents will be gift- wrapped, will be held on Thursday, Dec. 15
at CedarStone Bank in Mt. Juliet and Lebanon. If you are interested in volunteering during gift- wrapping day, contact Sarah Haston at (615) 553-4297. Businesses are encouraged to contact the local Home Instead Senior Care office for information on adopting groups of seniors. For those unable to shop, monetary contributions toward gift purchases are also accepted. For more information about the program, visit www.beasantatoasenior.com.
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