Be a Santa to a Senior

Program helps area seniors struggling with poverty, loneliness

With so many older adults living alone and in poverty, some area seniors in the Northern Suburbs of Minneapolis and St. Paul area will undoubtedly be struggling to make ends meet this holiday season. That’s why the area Home Instead Senior Care office has partnered with retailers and community organizations to make sure isolated seniors, seniors who may have just experienced a loss of a loved one, recovering from an illness, experiencing financial difficulty, or simply need some holiday cheer, will receive gifts and companionship through the Be a Santa to a Senior program.

“Seniors faced with medical bills and the high cost of living can find they have little left at the end of the year,” said Dan Arnold, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving the Northern Suburbs of Minneapolis and St. Paul. “That’s not the only issue, though. Personal needs may become magnified for so many living alone with no one to share their problems.”

With support, the Maple Grove Home Instead Senior Care office will collect and distribute gifts to seniors who might otherwise spend the holiday alone.

The Be a Santa to a Senior program has kicked off. Christmas trees are up in various retail locations and feature ornaments with the first names of the seniors and their respective gift requests.

There will be a community gift wrapping party Dec. 14 and Dec. 18. The public is invited to come and help.

The donated gifts will be delivered to seniors in the community the week of Dec. 17.

Holiday shoppers are asked to pick up an ornament off special Be a Santa to a Senior Christmas trees, buy items on the list and return them unwrapped to the store, along with the ornament attached.

Shoppers can pick an ornament at one of two locations in Maple Grove — Byerly’s, 12880 Elm Creek Blvd. N., and Home Instead Senior Care of Minneapolis, 9684 63rd Ave. N.

The Home Instead Senior Care office will then enlist the volunteer help of its staff, senior-care business associates, non-profit workers and others to collect, wrap and distribute the gifts.

Those interested can contact: Home Instead Senior Care, 9684 63rd Ave. N. in Maple Grove, at 763-544-5988 or send an email to john.stuck@homeinstead.com.

For more information about the program, visit beasantatoasenior.com or call 763-792-0041.

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