This season, many seniors who are alone or impoverished will receive some holiday cheer thanks to the Be a Santa to a Senior program.
Sponsored by the local Home Instead Senior Care office, the program brings together area nonprofits, retailers, numerous volunteers and members of the community to provide gifts and companionship for lonely and isolated seniors.
“It is heartbreaking to think of the senior members of our community spending the holidays all by themselves, without any gifts or any way to celebrate the season,” says Chita Henning, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, and West Los Angeles. “But all too often, that’s what happens when seniors live alone. It can be a really tough time of year for them.”
Home Instead Senior Care has partnered with WISE Healthy Aging, Santa Monica Curves, the Santa Monica YWCA and The Cypress Center to help with the gift collection and distribution. Program officials hope to collect enough gifts to help more than 40 area seniors this holiday season.
Participating retail locations will display Be a Santa to a Senior Christmas trees from Nov. 24 to Dec. 12 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 wrapped (and with the ornament attached) to the store.
Be a Santa to a Senior trees will be located at:
— Curves, Santa Monica (1821 Wilshire Boulevard)
— YWCA, Santa Monica (2019 14th Street)
— The Cypress Center, Pacific Palisades (860 Via De La Paz, Suite B-1)
Program partners and volunteers will collect and distribute the gifts to local seniors who might otherwise spend the holiday alone.
“During this season of giving, we encourage shoppers to buy a little extra for a local senior,” said Henning. “Your gift – and more importantly the visit that comes with the delivery – could make their holiday season.”
For more information about the program, visit BeaSantatoaSenior.com or call 310.590.1685.