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Senior Gift Requests Expected to Increase This Holiday as Economic Slump Continues

Be a Santa to a Senior®, the popular campaign that has delivered 1.2 million gifts to needy seniors throughout North America in the past six years, is gearing up again this holiday season during a time when seniors may need more of the bare necessities to survive.

The Home Instead Senior Care® office serving Leon, Gadsden and Wakulla Counties has joined area senior care facilities, community organizations, Walmart and Sam's Club to provide presents to seniors who otherwise might not receive a gift this holiday season.

Program sponsors expect gift requests to be up this year as the economic downturn continues and Social Security benefits fail to keep pace with daily living expenses.

“Most people aren’t aware that there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of seniors in every community who have no family and are alone,” said Scott Harrell, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Tallahassee and the Panhandle. “What’s more, this holiday season finds many older adults struggling to make ends meet.”

Prior to the holiday season, the participating local non-profit organizations will identify needy and isolated seniors in the community and provide those names to Home Instead Senior Care. Christmas trees, which will go up in Tallahassee at the Walmart Super Center, 5500 Thomasville Rd.; and Sam's Club, 3122 Dick Wilson Blvd. the week of November 8, feature ornaments with the first names only of the seniors and their respective gift requests. Holiday shoppers can pick up an ornament, buy items on the list and return them unwrapped to the store, along with the ornament attached. Volunteers will then collect, wrap and deliver the gifts to area seniors.

Be a Santa to a Senior is a way to show our gratitude to those older adults who have contributed so much to our community,” Harrell said. “We hope to reach out to many with this gesture of holiday cheer and goodwill.”

For more information about the program, call 850-297-1897 or log on to