Tis the season to give back to aging adults in our community

Home Instead’s ‘Be a Santa to a Senior Program’ finds new ways to spread cheer 

COOKEVILLE – At a time when it may be more important than ever, Home Instead’s® seasonal favorite “Be A Santa to a Senior” returns stronger than ever with new options for community participation.

Program coordinators evaluated the important holiday program and made adjustments with the safety of donors, seniors and volunteers in mind. With Cookeville seniors more isolated than ever because of concerns due to the virus, Home Instead will collect gifts for 650 area seniors through both online shopping on Amazon Business and at trees in local businesses and retailers.

“The ‘Be A Santa to a Senior’ program brings so much joy to seniors in our community,” said Rob Brown, owner of the Cookeville Home Instead office. “Seniors are especially at risk for the feelings of isolation that we’ve all felt at some point during the pandemic, and a simple gift can show them that they have been thought of, which is more important this year than ever.” 

“Be A Santa to a Senior” relies on the generous support of the Cookeville community and volunteers, as well as area businesses, nonprofit organizations and retailers. This year Home Instead has partnered with WalMart in Algood, Putnam County Library and Village Green Mall, as well as Amedisys, Avalon Hospice, Kindred Hospice, Quality Home Health and Upper Cumberland Development District who have provided names of senior gift recipients.

It’s easy to help. Members of the community can visit one of the participating locations listed below and look for the “Be A Santa to a Senior” tree on display now through Dec. 3. Each tree will be decorated with ornaments featuring seniors’ first names and gift suggestions. Holiday shoppers can choose an ornament, buy the requested gift and return it unwrapped to the store with the ornament attached. 

In addition, members of the community can visit BeASantatoaSenior.com and enter their zip code to view wish lists for local seniors on Amazon Business through Dec. 3. A personalized greeting can be included with the gift which will be shipped directly to the senior or to Home Instead where it will be safely delivered to the senior. 

“We need the community’s help more than ever to make sure seniors feel connected this year,” Brown said. “This year we knew we had to find a way to spread holiday cheer to seniors, and we are grateful for the community’s participation.” 

Since the program’s creation in 2003, “Be A Santa to a Senior” has provided approximately 2.1 million gifts and with the help of more than 75,000 volunteers, brightened the season for more than 750,000 deserving seniors nationwide. With adjustments, Home Instead will be able to continue the annual gift-giving program while following social distancing and safety precautions during COVID-19.

“Be A Santa to a Senior” trees can be found at the following locations:

  • Walmart – 589 W. Main St. in Algood 
  • Putnam County Library – 50 E Broad St. in Cookeville
  • Village Green Mall in Crossville

For more information about the program, visit BeaSantatoaSenior.com or call 931-526-1127.

For ideas and inspiration around helping seniors in your community, visit ReadytoCare.com.

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