ST. ALBANS – The holiday season is also the season of giving and a time to share smiles with those around you. As you gather to drink hot cocoa and sing carols with family and friends, it’s important to remember there are seniors in your community who would love to celebrate, too. However, many seniors live alone, without someone to share this special time.

Home Instead Senior Care is once again offering the community a chance to spread joy to local seniors. Through the Be a Santa to a Senior program, community members can give a senior a special holiday gift. Since the program’s inception in 2003, the Be a Santa to a Senior program has mobilized more than 60,000 volunteers, provided approximately 1.2 million gifts and brightened the season for more than 700,000 deserving seniors nationwide. Program organizers in Vermont hope to collect over 1000 gifts again this year.

“The Be a Santa to a Senior program is all about including seniors in the joy of the holiday season,” said Tim LaBeau, owner of the Shelburne Home Instead Senior Care office. “A simple gift shows them they are a loved and vital member of our community.”

Be a Santa to a Senior is a true community program, with generous support from businesses, nonprofit organizations, retailers, numerous volunteers and members of the community. The year, the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Chittenden and surrounding counties has partnered with Kinney Drug, as well as several senior care agencies and facilities including: Age Well, Genesis, Green Mountain Nursing Home, St Joseph’s Home, UVM – Home Health and Hospice, Elderwood Nursing Center, Birchwood Terrace Rehab and Healthcare, Our Lady of Providence, Cathedral Square, AllenWood and Pillsbury Manor South, Ethan Allen Residence, Converse Home, Sterling House, Allen Brook Memory Care, St. Albans Healthcare and Rehab Center, CarePartners Adult Day Care Center, Lamoile Day Heath Service, Copley Terrace. The agencies have identified seniors who will receive gifts through the program this year.

It’s easy to help. Visit participating Kinney Drug locations (see list of locations below) and look for the Be a Santa to a Senior tree on display from Nov. 4 to Dec. 4. The trees will be decorated with ornaments featuring seniors’ first name or code and gift suggestions. Holiday shoppers can choose an ornament, buy the requested gift and return it to the store with the ornament attached. There’s no need to worry about wrapping — community volunteers and program partners will wrap and deliver the gifts to local seniors in time for the holidays.

“While it may seem like a small act of kindness, it can really make a difference for someone this holiday season,” said LaBeau. “Watching seniors open the gifts they received through Be a Santa to a Senior and seeing the smiles and appreciation on their faces is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season.”

Be a Santa to a Senior® trees will be located at the Kinney Drug location in St. Albans, along with many of their other locations statewide.

For more information about the program, visit BeaSantatoaSenior.com or call 802-860-4663.

For more information about how you can help seniors in your community, visit imreadytocare.com.

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