Based off a "Secret Santa" concept, the holiday event matches up participants via a Christmas tree. Each Christmas tree is covered with paper ornaments, each bearing a senior's name and gift request. Secret Santa's choose an ornament and return the unwrapped gift under the tree by Tuesday, Dec. 6. Visit here to watch a video on how the program works: http://www.beasantatoasenior.com/.
|This tree of giving starts with a paper ornament.|
"We originally got involved with the effort as transportation elves," said Marietta Sewell, president of UNO's Sigma Phi Omega, a national gerontology honor society. "Gerontology students helped deliver the gifts to the Omaha Home Instead headquarters and to other various social agencies."
Each population-we™ staff member has committed to being a Secret Santa for a senior. The following "Be a Santa to a Senior" participants will receive a holiday gift from each pop-we contributor:
Senior: Stationary set, stamps
Wish: Stuffed teddy bear, lotion
Wish: Caffeine free diet coke
Wish: Nebraska shirts or sweatshirts and sweatpants
Wish: Husker sports book
Wish: Book about Omaha Gold Coast area
Social workers identified the needy seniors to event sponsor -- Home Instead Senior Care -- who compiled the list.
"You can tell the quality of life some of these seniors are living by their requests," Sewell said. "One lady only requested a box of mints."
Again this year, students will pick up gifts from UNO and HyVee stores to help wrap them before social services drops them off to seniors. All gift donations go to seniors in the Omaha community.
Adopting a senior is open to the public, so tell your friends and family, and begin the season of giving off right, by helping elderly in your very own community. To volunteer or to donate a gift in your area, visit Home Instead at http://www.beasantatoasenior.com/.
- population-we™ blog post by Becky Bohan Brown
© 2011 population-we, LLC
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