With so many older adults living alone and in poverty, some Central Susquehanna River Valley seniors 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 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 Joe DeLauter, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving the Central Susquehanna River Valley. "That's not the only issue, though. Personal needs may become magnified for so many living alone with no one to share their problems."
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 9 percent of U.S. seniors 65 and older are living in poverty and 27 percent are widowed.
With the support of Albright Life, Buffalo Valley Lutheran Village, ElderCare Solutions, Inc., Kramm Healthcare and Rehabilitation, Manor at Penn Village, Manor Care Nursing Home, Northumberland Area Agency on Aging, and Union-Snyder Area Agency on Aging, area retailers, volunteers and members of the community, the local 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 runs through Dec. 1.
Christmas trees or wreaths, which will go up in Crossroads Church of the Nazarene Ministry, 71 Nazarene Lane, Milton; Mifflinburg Bank & Trust, 250 E. Chestnut St., Mifflinburg; M&T Bank, 409 Market St., Lewisburg; Swineford National Bank, 70 International Drive, Lewisburg; and Walmart Super Center, 120 AJK Blvd., Lewisburg, will feature ornaments with the first names of the seniors and their respective gift requests.
Holiday shoppers are asked to pick up an ornament off special Be a Santa to a Senior Christmas trees and wreaths, buy items on the list and return them unwrapped to the store, along with the ornament attached, by Nov. 30.
The Home Instead Senior Care office will then enlist the volunteer help of its staff, senior-care business associates, nonprofit workers and others to collect, wrap and distribute the gifts.
"Helping a needy older adult can bring fulfillment to the giver as well as the receiver - it does make a difference," he added.
For more information about the program, visit www.beasantatoasenior. com or call Home Instead at 522-6533.