How gift giving touches the lives of seniors
In 2006, Be a Santa to a Senior volunteers visited a local nursing facility and distributed gifts to a number of residents, including one 87-year-old woman whom we'll call Mary. She was pleased to receive her gift and thanked us profusely, but it wasn't until we returned to give Mary another gift in 2007 that we recognized the true value of Be a Santa to a Senior.
When we entered Mary's room for our second visit, we noticed that the only card on her bulletin board was the Be a Santa to a Senior card from the previous year. As we spoke with her caregivers we found out that our Christmas card and gift were the only items she had received throughout the year. Mary re-read the card regularly to help keep that memory alive.
Each year Home Instead Senior Care® offices throughout North America spread holiday cheer to lonely or financially-challenged seniors through the Be a Santa to a Senior program. The program has attracted upwards of 60,000 volunteers over the past six years distributing gifts to deserving seniors. Since introducing the Be a Santa to a Senior program, Home Instead Senior Care has helped provide 1.2 million gifts to more than 700,000 seniors.
How Be a Santa to a Senior Works
Home Instead Senior Care partners with local non-profit and community organizations to identify seniors who might not otherwise receive gifts this holiday season. The company then works with local businesses and retail stores to help facilitate the purchase and distribution of gifts by placing trees and ornaments within their various locations. Each senior's gift requests are written on a Be a Santa to a Senior tree ornament.
Here's how to help an underserved senior:
- Find the nearest Be a Santa to a Senior tree location by using the form at the top of the page
- Remove an ornament
- Purchase the gift
- Bring ornament and gift back to participating store
and give to
It's that easy.
Volunteers collect, wrap, and deliver the gifts to the seniors.
Dates vary by location, however, the program typically begins the first week of November with gift collection taking place through mid-December. Volunteers deliver gifts prior to Christmas.
Find a Tree today and brighten the life of a senior.
If there is not a Be a Santa to a Senior tree in your community, we encourage you to contact an organization in your community dedicated to helping seniors during the holidays.