Holiday shoppers in eastern Jackson County, including Lee’s Summit, Blue Springs, Independence and Raytown, can give cheer to area seniors by participating in the Be a Santa to a Senior program.
The program – run by the local Home Instead Senior Care office in partnership with area retailers, volunteers and members of the community – helps ensure isolated seniors receive gifts and companionship during the holidays.
An estimated 27 percent of people 65 and older (10.8 million people) are widowed, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Further, the Administration on Aging reports about 28 percent (11.8 million) non-institutionalized people 65 and older live alone.
Retailers participating in Be a Santa to a Senior will display Christmas trees through Dec. 16 that feature ornaments with seniors’ first names and their gift requests. Holiday shoppers can pick an ornament from these trees, buy the items listed and return them unwrapped to the store, with the ornament attached.
The Be a Santa to a Senior trees will be located at Academy Bank, located inside the Walmart at 1000 N.E. Sam Walton Lane, in Lee’s Summit and at The Living Stone at 231 S.E. Main Street, also in Lee’s Summit.
The local Home Instead Senior Care office will enlist volunteers from its staff, senior-care business associates, non-profit workers and others to collect, wrap and distribute the gifts to local seniors who might otherwise spend the holiday alone.
“Be a Santa to a Senior gives back to older adults in our area, many of whom have had significant, positive influence on our lives,” said Michelle Brunell, owner at the local Home Instead Senior Care office in Lee’s Summit. “During this season of giving, we encourage shoppers to buy a little extra to say thank you to these community members.”
For more information about the program, visit BeaSantatoaSenior.com or call 816-554-6166.