Everyone deserves to enjoy the warmth of the holiday season, and this year, area seniors who are alone or impoverished will be able to do just that.
Sponsored by the Home Instead Senior Care® office serving Blair and Cambria counties, the Be a Santa to a Senior® program provides gifts and companionship for lonely and isolated seniors. The program is made possible by the generous support of area nonprofit organizations, retailers, numerous volunteers and members of the community.
"There are so many seniors, right here in the west-central Pennsylvania area that have nothing and no one," said Theresa Zurilla, owner of the local Home Instead Senior Care office. "Through this program, we are able to show them that they are valuable members of our community and that people still care."
Home Instead Senior Care has partnered with Autumn Estate, John Paul II Manor, Valley View Health and rehabilitation Center, Wesner's Claysburg Manor and Golden Living Center to help with the gift collection and distribution. Tender Loving Child Care will be decorating gift bags to be used.
Participating retail locations will display Be a Santa to a Senior Christmas trees from Nov. 3 through Dec. 9 that feature ornaments with seniors' first names and their gift requests. Holiday shoppers can pick ornaments from the trees, buy the items listed and return them unwrapped (and with the ornament attached) to the store.
Program partners and volunteers will take care of wrapping and distributing the gifts to local seniors who might otherwise spend the holiday alone.
"We have seen, firsthand, how much this program means to local seniors," said Zurilla. "Without it, there would be seniors for whom the holidays would pass without even a visit."
You can find a Be A Santa To a Senior tree at the following locations:
Giant Eagle 881 College Plaza, Rt. 22W & Rt. 219, Ebensburg The Dream Restaurant 1500 Allegheny St., Hollidaysburg Thompson's Pharmacy 600 East Chestnut Avenue, Altoona Your Choice Federal Credit Union 109 Keystone St, Altoona
For more information about the program, visit BeaSantatoaSenior.com or call 814-693-3610.
ABOUT HOME INSTEAD SENIOR CARE
Founded in 1994 in Omaha, Nebraska, by Lori and Paul Hogan, the Home Instead Senior Care® network provides personalized care, support and education to help enhance the lives of aging adults and their families. Today, this network is the world's leading provider of in-home care services for seniors, with more than 1,000 independently owned and operated franchises that are estimated to annually provide more than 50 million hours of care throughout the United States and 14 other countries. Local Home Instead Senior Care offices employ approximately 65,000 CAREGiversSM worldwide who provide basic support services that enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. The Home Instead Senior Care network strives to partner with each client and his or her family members to help meet that individual's needs. Services span the care continuum – from providing companionship and personal care to specialized Alzheimer's care and hospice support. Also available are family caregiver education and support resources. At Home Instead Senior Care, it's relationship before task, while striving to provide superior quality service.
Home Instead offers free monthly newsletters with tips and advice for caregivers of elderly loved ones.
Each Home Instead Senior Care franchise is independently owned and operated.