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Monday, November 21, 2011

Home Instead Senior Care and HyVee Spread Holiday Cheer with 'Be a Santa to a Senior' Program

As we approach the season of giving, we sometimes begin to think about those less fortunate; however, most holiday giving and drives revolve around children and families. Home Instead Senior Care and local HyVee stores are trying to alleviate that problem by offering a program called "Be a Santa to a Senior."

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:

This tree of giving starts with a paper ornament.
For the second year in a row UNO's Department of Gerontology also sponsored a tree. This is the tree where population-we™ Secret Santa's got matched up with their seniors. Other Christmas trees are located in Omaha HyVee stores scattered throughout town.

"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:

Name: Marge
Senior: Stationary set, stamps

Name: Linda
Wish: Stuffed teddy bear, lotion

Name: Catherine
Wish: Caffeine free diet coke

Name: Ben
Wish: Nebraska shirts or sweatshirts and sweatpants

Name: Wallace
Wish: Husker sports book

Name: Mary
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
- population-we blog post by Becky Bohan Brown
© 2011 population-we, LLC 
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  1. I know your mother-in-law was very thoughtful when she sponsored a senior in the past at drive like this and went above and beyond. I think this is a wonderful way to serve Seniors. Santa loves Seniors too. :)

  2. Thank you for sharing the information.

    Seniors are those people who sacrifices their happiness by developing their children so, it is the duty of the children to take due care of the seniors though, their are many care centers who are providing the service of taking care to the seniors.

    Recently, I came across a site named as No place like home care llc who is providing in-home assessment services to seniors, those recovering from surgery, new and expectant mothers and others.

  3. Visiting and doing service like this in rest homes and senior care centers is always fun and rewarding. It's hard to find more grateful recipients of attention and a listening ear than those seniors in retirement homes. Celebrating the new seasons and holidays with them creates lasting memories.

    Paul |

  4. Paul: I whole heartedly agree with you! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Take care.

  5. Thanks for share your opinion. Yes, It is the stage when senior required care , love , attention from their children like they do in the growing period of children. I really like your article. keep going.