Betsey and Chris Head last year with the Santa for Senior trees around the valley.
Here is more information about the Be a Santa to a Senior program:
The area office of Home Instead Senior Care, the world’s largest provider of non-medical home care and companionship for older adults, has joined The Local Office on Aging, The Departments of Social Services for Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Botetourt County, The Roanoke United Methodist Home, Friendship Manor, as well as other eldercare entities and more than 50 businesses throughout the Roanoke Valley, to provide presents to seniors who otherwise might not receive a gift this holiday season.
Throughout North America, this is the fifth year of the program where last year more than 26,400 volunteers distributed gifts to deserving seniors. In the past four years since introducing this Be a Santa to a Senior program, Home Instead Senior Care has helped provide more than 930,000 gifts to 568,055 seniors in North America.
“Be a Santa to a Senior each year sets new records in contributions of gifts to a group that often is forgotten during the hectic holiday season,” said Betsy Head, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Roanoke. “While children are the beneficiaries of many holiday programs, people often don’t think about the isolated and lonely seniors who need to be remembered as well during this season. Be a Santa to a Senior also is designed to help stimulate human contact and social interaction for older adults who are unlikely to have guests during the holidays.”
Here’s how the program, which runs from Nov. 6 through Dec. 5, works: Prior to the holiday season, the participating local non-profit organizations will identify needy and isolated seniors in the community and provide those names to Home Instead Senior Care for this community service program. Christmas trees, which will go up in the Bonsack Walmart, The Olive Garden Restaurant, Valley View Mall at the Customer Service desk, The Local Office on Aging, and the office of Home Instead Senior Care on November 6, will feature ornaments with the first names only of the seniors and their respective gift requests.
Holiday shoppers can pick up an ornament, buy items on the list and return them unwrapped to the store, along with the ornament attached. Home Instead Senior Care then enlists the volunteer help of its staff, senior-care business associates, non-profit workers and others to collect, wrap and distribute the gifts to these seniors. A citywide gift-wrapping day, when hundreds of the presents will be wrapped, will be held on December 5 from 3 – 7 pm at the Roanoke United Methodist Home. Gifts will then be delivered from December 8 to December 15 from the Be a Santa to a Senior Gift Distribution Center adjacent to the new Bonsack Kroger store. “Be a Santa to a Senior is a fulfilling way to say thanks to those older adults who have helped build our community,” Head said. “Our hope is that many will be touched by this holiday gesture of goodwill.”
If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering to help on the citywide gift-wrapping day, contact Betsy Head at 540-966-3399 . Businesses are encouraged to contact the local Home Instead Senior Care office about adopting groups of seniors. For tree locations in your area, or for more information about the program, log on to www.beasantatoasenior.com.