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Holiday Program Helps Northeastern Indiana Seniors Struggling With Poverty and Loneliness

Be a Santa to a Fort Wayne IN senior this year
With so many older adults living alone and in poverty, some seniors in Allen County and the surrounding areas of Northeastern Indiana 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 Jim Sullivan, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office in Fort Wayne, serving Allen County and the surrounding areas of Northeastern Indiana. "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 the Allen County Council on Aging, Adult Protective Services, and Aging and In-Home Services, area retailers, 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 November 15th and run through December 13th. Christmas trees, which will go up in Walgreens locations throughout Allen County, 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 cashier, 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," Sullivan said. "Helping a needy older adult can bring fulfillment to the giver as well as the receiver – it does make a difference," he added.

For more information about the program, visit www.beasantatoasenior.com or call 260-485-2424.
*U.S. Census Bureau;
http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb12-ff07.html