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Edina, Eden Prairie, South Minneapolis, Richfield and Bloomington

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Holiday Program Helps Hennepin County Seniors Struggling With Poverty and Loneliness

Be a Santa to an Edina area senior this year
With so many older adults living alone and in poverty, some Edina and surrounding area seniors will undoubtedly be struggling to make ends meet this holiday season. That's why the area Home Instead Senior Care® office has partnered with retailers and community organizations to make sure isolated seniors receive gifts and companionship through the Be a Santa to a Senior® program.

"Seniors faced with medical bills and the high cost of living can find they have little left at the end of the year," said Cher Kuechle, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Hennepin County. "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.*

With the support of senior care agencies, Meals on Wheels, Edina Care Center, Richfield Care Center, Eden Dale, Golden Living Bloom, Main Street Village, Mt. Olivet Day Center, area retailers, Penelope, Fairview Partners, Minnesota Gastroenterology, Minnesota Bankers, volunteers and members of the community, the local Home Instead Senior Care office will collect and distribute gifts to seniors who might otherwise spend the holiday alone.

The Be a Santa to a Senior program will kick off Nov. 5 and run through Dec. 3. Christmas trees, which will go up in (see tree locations below), will feature ornaments with the first names of the seniors and their respective gift requests.

Holiday shoppers are asked to pick up an ornament off special Be a Santa to a Senior Christmas trees, buy items on the list and return them unwrapped to the store, along with the ornament attached. The Home Instead Senior Care office will then enlist the volunteer help of its staff, senior-care business associates, non-profit workers and others to collect, wrap and distribute the gifts.

"Be a Santa to a Senior is another way to say 'thank you' to the many seniors who have made such important contributions to our community throughout the years," Kuechle said. "Helping a needy older adult can bring fulfillment to the giver as well as the receiver – it does make a difference," she added.

For more information about the program, visit www.beasantatoasenior.com or call 952-929-5695.

Tree Locations:

Fletcher Management
4445 West 77th Street
Edina, MN

Lunds and Byerly's Pharmacy
6228 Penn Ave. South
Richfield, MN

Lunds and Byerly's Pharmacy
5159 West 98th Street
Bloomington, MN

Lunds and Byerly's Pharmacy
3945 West 50th Street
Edina, MN

Lunds and Byerly's Pharmacy
7171 France Avenue
Edina, MN

Walgreens – Eden Prairie
10180 Hennepin Town Road
Eden Prairie, MN

Walgreens – Edina
6975 York Avenue
Edina, MN

Walgreens – Richfield
9800 Lyndale Avenue
Richfield, MN

*U.S. Census Bureau;
http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb12-ff07.html