The campaign that for the past 10 years has delivered more than 5,000 gifts to local needy seniors is being planned again this holiday season.
Area retailers, along with agencies that serve older adults, have partnered with the Portage County office of Home Instead Senior Care to make sure that isolated seniors receive gifts and companionship through the Be a Santa to a Senior program.
"Be a Santa to a Senior each year sets new records in contributions of gifts to a group that often is forgotten during the hectic holiday season," said Therese Glorioso, registered nurse and president of Home Instead Senior Care office serving Portage County.
Prior to the holiday season, the participating local nonprofit organizations identify financially needy and isolated seniors in the community and provide those names to Home Instead Senior Care.
The first name and gift request of each senior are written on an ornament and then placed on Christmas trees located throughout Portage County including The RAC, Curves, and Emeritus in Ravenna; senior centers in Ravenna, Streetsboro and Aurora; Aurora Premium Outlets and Dr. Tomko's Office in Aurora; and Excalibur Auto Body in Streetsboro.
Holiday shoppers can pick up an ornament, buy items on the list and return them unwrapped to the store, along with the ornament attached.
Home Instead Senior Care then enlists the volunteer help of its staff, senior-care business associates, nonprofit workers and others to collect, wrap and distribute the gifts to these seniors. A citywide gift-wrapping day will be held early in December.
For more information, contact Annette Balis, community service representative for Home Instead Senior Care, at 330-297-1700.
Donations may be sent to Home Instead in care of Be a Santa to a Senior, 705 Oakwood St., Suite 107, Ravenna, OH 44266.
For more information about the program,visit www.beasantatoasenior.com.