How You Can Help Our Forgotten Seniors

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We are currently in the middle of our annual Be a Santa to a Senior (BASTAS) volunteer initiative where we partner with local businesses to coordinate gift giving to seniors who, without this program, would go without. We first identify seniors living in nursing homes or other facilities who have very little or no contact with their families during the Holidays. While collecting names, we also ask what kind of gift items they would like for Christmas.  We then write the senior’s name and their gift request on a paper ornament and place them on Christmas trees designated for BASTAS inside Walgreens. Customers shopping in these local stores can remove an ornament from the tree, purchase the requested item, and then place it under the tree with the paper ball ornament. Our Home Instead office staff then coordinates picking up the items, wrapping them and then – which is the best part – delivering the gifts to the appropriate senior the week before Christmas!  This yearly tradition not only warms the heart of the senior, but everyone involved.

When I read over the lists of gifts requested this year I was caught off guard. I thought I would find things like clothes, books, board games or even electronics. I was dead wrong. Many of the lists were comprised of everyday household items like soap, shampoo, and shaving cream. How can this be? It made me realize that the simple things in life, the ones we take for granted, aren’t necessarily available to everyone. It made me think twice about wanting more this holiday season when I already have so much. It also made me stop and think about how easy it is for those of us who have been financially blessed to make an impact on another human being’s life.

At Home Instead Senior Care Appleton, God is our CEO and he challenges us to “love your neighbor as yourself,” and to me that means taking care of those who may have been forgotten. It means taking a risk and opening up our doors and our hearts this Christmas to someone who desperately needs support and care. I am proud to say that our BASTAS program does just that. It finds those seniors who are all alone, and it gives them hope during a time of the year when hope and new life should be celebrated. For a listing of participating businesses in your area, visit our website and find out how you can “Be a Santa to a Senior!”

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Love (v.),

Jason Crane


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