Senior citizens need Santa, too

With all the focus on children and families during the holiday season, there are some people who may be forgotten. But one organization is working to make sure Santa makes a visit to Carson City's elderly.

"Most people aren't aware that there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of seniors in every community who have no family and are alone," said Allan Ward, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office, in a press release. "The holiday is often considered a time for children, but seniors - especially those who are isolated and lonely - need to be remembered as well."

The Be a Santa to a Senior program, which delivered more than a thousand gifts to local needy seniors, is under way again this holiday season.

Christmas trees are set up at both Carson City Walmarts, as well as stores in Reno, featuring ornaments with names of seniors and desired gifts.

"Be a Santa to a Senior is designed to give back to those needy seniors as well as to help stimulate human contact and social interaction for older adults who are unlikely to have guests during the holidays," Ward said.

The area office of Home Instead Senior Care, joined by the Marketers Exchange, Senior Coalition, Washoe County Senior Center and area Walmart stores will provide presents and special visits to seniors who otherwise might be overlooked this holiday season.

The program runs through Dec. 10.

Holiday shoppers can pick up an ornament, buy items on the list and return them unwrapped to the store, along with the ornament attached.

The community also can help gift wrap on Dec. 13 in Carson City, and on Dec. 12 in Reno.

"Be a Santa to a Senior is a way to show our gratitude to those older adults who have contributed so much to our community," Ward said. "We hope to reach out to many with this gesture of holiday cheer and goodwill."

Anyone interested in volunteering to help with the gift-wrapping event, should contact the Home Instead Senior Care office at 775- 336-5333.

Businesses are encouraged to contact the local Home Instead Senior Care office about adopting groups of seniors.

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