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Holiday Program Helps Local Seniors Struggling With Poverty and Loneliness

Be a Santa to a Springfield MO senior this year
Be a Santa to a Senior®, the popular campaign that in four years delivered more than 2,000 gifts to local needy seniors, is being planned again this holiday season as older adults continue to face poverty and loneliness.

The area office of the Home Instead Senior Care® network, the world's largest provider of non-medical in-home care and companionship services for older adults, is joining Harter House to provide gifts and companionship to seniors who otherwise might not receive either.

"Seniors faced with medical bills and the high cost of living can find they have little left at the end of the year," said Chris Blaine, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving seniors in Christian, Greene, Stone, Taney and Webster Counties. "That's not the only issue, though. Personal needs may become magnified for so many living alone with no one to share their problems."

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 9 percent of U.S. seniors 65 and older are living in poverty and 27 percent are widowed.*

Here's how to help these struggling seniors: Pick up ornaments with the first names of seniors and their gift requests from Christmas trees, which will be up at Harter House, 1500 East Republic Road, Springfield, on Nov. 26 through Dec. 14. Buy items on the list and return them unwrapped to the store, along with the ornaments attached.

"Helping a needy older adult can bring fulfillment to the giver as well as the receiver – it does make a difference," Blaine said.

For more information about the program, visit www.beasantatoasenior.com or call 417-227-9977.
*U.S. Census Bureau;
http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb12-ff07.html