LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Kids aren't the only ones who appreciate a gift under the tree at Christmas. Hundreds of senior citizens across the state have no one to share the holiday with.
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. This can be a difficult time for many, especially those who live alone or have lost spouses and loved ones.
It's a program that collects, wraps and delivers gifts to lonely and needy seniors in Pulaski, Lonoke and White counties.
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 from Nov. 15 to Dec. 13 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 trees will be located at area Walgreens stores.
"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 Matt McClure, owner at the local Home Instead Senior Care office. "During this season of giving, we encourage shoppers to buy a little extra to say thank you to these community members."
The program runs today through December 13th.
To check out which stores near you will be participating, follow this link: http://beasantatoasenior.com/
For more information about the program, visit BeaSantatoaSenior.com or call 501-758-7340.