Program providing food gift cards to seniors


Graphic by Polina Ivanova via stock.xchng

The popular campaign that has delivered hundreds of gifts to local needy seniors is being planned again this holiday season. Area retailers, along with agencies that serve older adults, have partnered with a local senior-care service to make sure that isolated seniors receive gifts and companionship through the Be a Santa to a Senior program.

The area office of Home Instead Senior Care, the world’s largest provider of non-medical home care and companionship for older adults, has joined Sentry Foods of Twin Lakes and SuperValu Foods of Paddock Lake to provide food gift cards to seniors who otherwise might not receive a gift this holiday season.

Throughout North America , this is the sixth year of the program where last year more than 28,000 volunteers distributed gifts to deserving seniors. In the past five years since introducing this Be a Santa to a Senior program, Home Instead Senior Care has helped provide more than one million gifts to 700,000 seniors in North America .

“Be a Santa to a Senior is a great way to give back to the older adults in the community during the hectic holiday season when many are forgotten,” said Chris Czerwinski owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Eastern Walworth County and all of Kenosha County. “The holiday is often considered a time for children, but seniors – especially those who are isolated and lonely – need to be remembered as well.. Be a Santa to a Senior also is designed to help stimulate human contact and social interaction for older adults who are unlikely to have guests during the holidays.”

Here’s how the program, which through Dec. 15, works: Prior to the holiday season, the participating local non-profit organizations will identify needy and isolated seniors in the community and provide those names to Home Instead Senior Care for this community service program. Christmas trees, went up in Sentry Foods, Twin Lakes and SuperValu, Paddock Lake on Nov. 20, featuring ornaments with the first names only of the seniors and their respective gift card request.

Holiday shoppers can pick up an ornament, buy the gift card at the checkout counter and return it to the store employee, along with the ornament attached. Home Instead Senior Care then enlists the volunteer help of its staff, senior-care business associates, non-profit workers and others to collect and distribute the gift cards to these seniors.

“Be a Santa to a Senior is a way to show our gratitude to those older adults who have contributed so much to our community,” Czerwinski said. “We hope to reach out to many with this gesture of holiday cheer and goodwill.”

Businesses are encouraged to contact the local Home Instead Senior Care office about adopting groups of seniors. For tree locations in your area, or for more information about the program, call 262-671-4884.


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