'Be a Santa to a Senior' trees offer opportunity to helpBy GRETCHEN GROSKY
New Hampshire Union Leader November 26. 2017 11:19PM
They may be on the nice list, but with so many children to care for, Santa can’t always make it to the older people in need of some Christmas cheer.
That’s where Home Instead Senior Care hopes to help create some holiday spirit by seeking gifts for seniors who may be alone during the holidays.
Called “Be a Santa to a Senior,” the national program seeks donated gifts and companionship to provide for older people in the Manchester area. Trees placed at various businesses will be decorated with paper ornaments that contain a senior’s first name and their desired gifts. Shoppers can choose an ornament, buy the gift and return to the business with the ornament attached.
Program partners will deliver the gifts, which should be placed into a holiday gift bag to make distribution easier to local seniors in time for the holidays.
“Research suggests that feelings of loneliness can have a real effect on both mental and physical health. The holidays are a prime-time for many people to feel lonely, and that may be especially true for seniors who cannot travel from their homes or have lost their support network,” said Frank Byrne of the Manchester Home Instead Senior Care office.
“With Be a Santa to a Senior, we are able to bring them some comfort through a thoughtful gift that they might not otherwise receive, but, more importantly, by delivering them with a warm friendly face and kind words reminding them that their community cares about them.”
The program has been in existence since 2003 and with the help of more than 60,000 volunteers, Be a Santa to a Senior has provided over 2 million gifts to deserving seniors across the nation.
“We’re excited to get started and see the tree ornaments turn into meaningful gifts and interactions that can make a real impact on seniors’ quality of life this holiday season.” said Byrne.
“We know there are a variety of gift initiatives out there, and are so grateful to have our partners and community come together to support this important cause that will bring some much-needed holiday spirit to many of our senior neighbors.”
Home Instead will have help with gift collection and distribution from Community Action, Meals on Wheels and Liberty House.
Through Dec. 15
The trees are up and the ornaments will be available until Dec. 15. They are available at the following locations:
• Coldwell Banker Realty: 803 Elm St., Manchester
• Concord Technical High School: 170 Warren St., Concord
• Chalifour’s Flowers: 46 Elm St., Manchester
• St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral: 650 Hanover St., Manchester
• Merrimack Valley Savings Bank: 89 N. Main St., Concord
• Meetinghouse at Riverfront: 60 Riverfront Drive, Manchester
• State Farm: 510 Kelley St., Manchester
• Bellman’s Jewelers: 1650 Elm St., Manchester
For more information, visit www.beasantatoasenior.com.