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!
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Each Home Instead Senior Care franchise is independently owned and operated.