Yes, Grandpa, there is a Santa

Linda Connors helps Home Instead Senior Care get a jump start on wrapping the gifts for seniors. (Submitted photo)

Linda Connors helps Home Instead Senior Care get a jump start on wrapping the gifts for seniors. (Submitted photo)

By Anna Skinner

With Halloween over, the Christmas season officially has begun. Soon, homes all around Hamilton County will be decorated and ready for the holiday.

Home Instead Senior Care, a non-medical home care company that provides companionship, transportation, and more to local elderly seniors, also is preparing for the Christmas season.

One of its charities, Be a Santa to a Senior, a nonprofit that helps lonely seniors have a better Christmas, began Nov. 4. Christmas trees will be put up in local Walgreens stores with ornaments on them that bear a senior’s name, gender, and a few items wanted for Christmas. Others that want to help can do their shopping right in that Walgreens store. Gifts don’t have to be wrapped; they may be left under the Walgreen’s tree after purchase.

“It’s a program that’s developed to help needy and lonely seniors in the community to make sure they get a Christmas gift,” HISC owner Chris Irons said. “It was just really started from seeing the need out there in the community for seniors who won’t get any gifts.”

HISC works with many nonprofit organizations as well as nursing homes. These organizations can inform HISC on which seniors may not have family members or visitors. Irons said there are lots of Christmas charities for unfortunate children, and often times people don’t think about the elderly.

“It’s very moving to see the seniors see the gifts, because they’re not expecting anything at all like that,” he said. “Just to see the senior’s expression and see that they’re very grateful for anything at all is pretty neat. It’s a great way to give back to the seniors in the community when they get forgotten around the holiday.”

Through Be a Santa to a Senior, Hamilton and Boone counties have collected more than 5,000 gifts.

Walgreen’s Christmas trees will be up until Dec. 16. At that time they will be taken down and all the gifts sent to HISC to be wrapped and delivered.

For more information, contact Irons at chris.irons@homeinstead.com or visit www.beasantatoasenior.com.