For the past six years our office has been the proud sponsor of the annual "Be a Santa to a Senior" community program which provides gifts to lonely or needy seniors in the region during the Holiday Season. This year we collected and distributed over 1250 gifts to over 200 seniors. The following letter to the editor of "The Saratogian" provides the details of the program and identifies many of the wonderful people in the community who helped so much. This is truly a program full of Community and Christmas spirit.
Our wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year to all, and especially the wonderful and amazing people who helped make our 2009 “Be a Santa to a Senior” program the best ever. Those of us lucky enough to deliver the 1250 gifts to over 200 local needy or lonely seniors witnessed the happiness and thankfulness these gifts brought.
As in the past, this was a multi generational effort as students from the Okte Elementary School crafted holiday cards for each of the seniors. For the 6th straight year, the terrific members of Saratoga High School’s National Honor Society, led by their dedicated and energetic faculty advisors Dr. Rich DeMartino and Lucia Nicholas, receive an A+ for wrapping all of the gifts. These students were assisted by community volunteers and expert wrappers Valarie and Bill Bucci, Shar and Gary Rodd, Chris Hopkins, Patricia Frazer, and Deb Tomaso who helped make the ornaments. Thank you to our wonderful volunteer Santa drivers Tom Gibbs, Bill Hinrichs, Jean Marie Lundgren, Ken May, and Alice Richmond who traveled throughout the region, from Mechanicville to North Creek delivering presents to seniors homes. Thanks to the Corinth Girls Scout Troop who decorated and donated a tree to a senior who hadn’t had one in years.
This effort was successful due to the tremendous and warm support of the staff of the Saratoga Hospital, the Saratoga and Clifton Park Price Chopper Supermarkets, Clifton Park Boscov’s, the Girl Scouts of Northeastern NY, and the Senior Centers in Glens Falls, and Queensbury for hosting our Holiday Trees. A sincere thank you to Saratoga Springs Mayor Scott Johnson and Queensbury Supervisor Dan Stec for issuing proclamations honoring the program, the residents of Beacon Point Memory Care Community for decorating a tree, and to Saratoga Hospital for helping publicize the program.
We’d like to add a sincere thank you to the following businesses for their generous donations of gifts or services: Apple Pharmacy, Boston Market, Celtic Treasures, Gaffney’s, Gideon Putnam Hotel, Grey Gelding Bistro, Holiday Inn Bookmaker’s, HMT at the Spa Little Theater, Proctor’s Theater, Saratoga Sweets, SPAC, Stewart’s, TGI Fridays, and The Olde Bryan Inn.
To Margaret Keefe for donating gift mugs, Diane Bertrand for donating homemade chocolates, Saratoga Gift Baskets for donating lovely gift filled baskets, the Wilton Kiwanis for adopting 20 seniors, our own Home Instead Caregivers who donated so many gifts, Cheryl Daniels whose generosity made a certain senior’s life so much better and to the woman who donated two $200 gift certificates to two seniors she has never met…..thank you all so much!
And finally a sincere thank you to The Saratogian whose annual coverage of this program is greatly appreciated.
Nelson and Maryellen Carpenter
Home Instead Senior Care
229 Washington Street
Saratoga Springs, NY