Amidst rolls and rolls of wrapping paper and endless bags of gifts, volunteers were in equal abundance on Thursday, when the “Be a Santa to a Senior” campaign came to a succesful completion. The program saw the delivery of gifts to more than 700 local needy seniors last year and continued its quest to bring holiday cheer to struggling older adults this week.
Partnering with Sterling House, Brookdale Living, Clare Bridge Cottage, Paisley House, Visiting Nurse Association, Hands on Volunteers, Catholic Charities, SCOPE, Guardian Angels, Valley Renaissance, Youngstown Metropolitan Housing, Senior Center of Mahoning County, Mahoning County Senior Service Unit and Autumn Hills Health Care, the area office of Home Instead Senior Care strives to provide both gifts and companionship to seniors who otherwise might not receive either during the Christmas season.
“Many older adults continue to face a difficult economic climate, particularly those who live alone with no family nearby to help provide resources,” said Carol Hitchcock, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties.
Enter “Be a Santa to a Senior,” for which participating local nonprofit organizations went to work identifying needy and isolated seniors in the community and then provided those names to the local Home Instead Senior Care office.
Christmas trees featuring ornaments with the first names of the seniors and their gift requests were available throughout the communities through Dec. 8, allowing shoppers to choose an ornament, purchase items on the list, and either turn them in unwrapped, or bring them to the wrapping party held at the Holiday Inn in Boardman on Thursday.
Volunteers from throughout the community who attended the wrapping party were encouraged to bring wrapping paper and supplies to prepare the gifts for delivery to area seniors, with delivery to begin as early as that very day, according to Trickett.
While economic times remain tough, leaving many area seniors in need, the countless volunteers for the “Be a Santa to a Senior” program were able to wrap things up in time to join the list of many examples of the true spirit of giving and of Christmas in our community.
Photos by Kathleen Palumbo, Town Crier correspondent
On hand for the wrapping event at Holiday Inn in Boardman was Santa’s helper, Irma Baumstark, a bookkeeper for Home Instead Senior Care, who brought along her friend, Maryann Dibaccaro.