While being sure children have gifts waiting under the tree on Christmas morning is a focus for many people, those at Home Instead Senior Care want to make sure the seniors in the community are able to enjoy the holiday as well.
The Be a Santa to a Senior program is one held nationwide by franchises of Home Instead, but the seniors aided by the program aren’t just clients of the company, explained Debbie Wintersteen, RNA supervisor and manager of the Yadkin County satellite office of Home Instead of Wilkes County.
“We go to different doctor’s offices, senior centers, nursing homes and seek out names of seniors in need or who are isolated and don’t have family visiting them,” said Wintersteen. “And people who hear about the program can call and let us know if they know someone who could benefit.”
Then those people’s codes, gender and age are put on a paper ornament along with a list of items the senior wants or needs. Those ornaments are hung on Christmas trees at locations in the community for people to pick up, purchase the items, and return the gift with the ornament attached back under the tree from where it came.
“There are so many seniors, right here in the Surry and surrounding counties area that have nothing,” said Van Lankford, owner of the Surry County Home Instead Senior Care office. “Through this program, we are able to show them that they are valuable members of the community and that people still care.”
In Surry County, from now through Dec. 15, trees donned with ornaments are available at Belk in Elkin, Bear Creek Baptist Church in Dobson, and Chick-fil-A, Belk, Goin’ Postal, Jonesville Family Resource Center, Grace Moravian Church and First Baptist Church all in Mount Airy. Gifts in Surry should be returned unwrapped, with program volunteers and partners taking care of the wrapping and delivery of gifts.
In Yadkin County, from now through Dec. 11, the trees can be found at CVS in Yadkinville and D-Rex in Jonesville. Yadkin County gifts should be returned wrapped.
“We have seen, firsthand, how much this program means to local seniors,” Lankford said. “Without it, there would be seniors for whom the holidays would pass without even a visit.”
For more information about the program, visit beasantatoasenior.com.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.