Hickory – 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 Burke, Caldwell, Catawba Counties area seniors more isolated than ever because of concerns due to the virus, extra precautions will be taken so gifts can be safely collected and delivered to seniors in need. Home Instead will collect gifts for area seniors with the help of local businesses and the community.

“The Be a Santa to a Senior program brings so much joy to seniors in our community,” said Joan Coffey, owner of the Hickory 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 community and volunteers, as well as area businesses, nonprofit organizations, and retailers. This year Home Instead has partnered with Emersons Coffee, Burke County Senior Center, and Burkes Outlet in Newton. In addition, several organizations in Burke, Caldwell, Catawba Counties that work with seniors have provided names of seniors to receive gifts.

It’s easy to help. Members of the community can visit Emerson Coffee at Valley Mall in Hickory, Burkes Outlet in Newton, and Burke County Senior Center in Morganton, and look for the Be a Santa to a Senior tree on display from Nov. 1 to Dec. 11. The trees 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.

Gifts collected by the community will be delivered by a parade of cars filled with gifts to seniors in communities on December 16.

“We need the community’s help more than ever to make sure seniors feel connected this year,” said Coffey. “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.

For more information about the program, visit BeaSantatoaSenior.com or call 828-256-0184.

For more ideas and inspiration, visit ReadytoCare.com.