There’s a wonderful tradition here in South Florida for the holidays and I’m pleased to be a part of it and help support this program.
It’s called Be a Santa to a Senior and it was brought to Miami 14 years ago by Gabriel De Armas Jr., director of business and community development for Home Instead Senior Care, an in-home elderly care franchise network. The idea behind it is to bring holiday cheer to senior citizens living alone or in assisted living facilities (ALFs) with little family contact.
The holidays are so geared towards families sharing and being together, and giving gifts to each other, but all too often seniors who are on their own or who are living in ALFs don’t have relatives who can be with them during what should be a joyful holiday season. That’s where Be a Santa to a Senior comes in.
Home Instead Senior Care puts together a list of names and gift ideas from adult assisted living facilities as the holiday season begins. Those lists are displayed at collection spots hosted by participating local organizations and businesses. Last year there were 30 different locations.
You can visit the Be a Santa to a Senior website, find a location and “adopt” seniors, then purchase and drop off unwrapped gifts. You can even write to them in greeting cards if you’d like, to further brighten the day of a senior. The gifts are collected, wrapped and delivered to the seniors. There’s no limit—any number of gifts can be bought.
There are all kinds of gift ideas. Slippers, house coats, calling cards, stamps, make-up kits, purses, wallets, picture frames large number clock radios, big button phones, blankets, towels T-shirts, socks, teddy bears, toiletry articles, games, magnifiers and more.
I think what makes it special is that it’s not just random gifts given to people, the items are specifically targeted for individual folks and volunteers go to bring the gifts to the seniors.
Why not be a Santa to a senior this year and brighten someone’s holiday. I think you’ll be brightening your holiday as well.