Local senior care facility wants you to be a Santa to a Senior

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Home Instead Senior Care in Northeast Fresno is getting ready for the holidays. Their Christmas tree is lit up and decorated, wrapped presents are placed underneath, but what truly makes this tree special are the paper ornaments hanging off the branches. Each one represents a senior in our community.

"During the holiday season a lot of seniors are isolated and are not in that holiday spirit, so we are giving that holiday cheer," said Summer Boesch, Marketing Director for Home Instead.

For the last 15 years, the organization has asked people to Be a Santa to a Senior. Boesch said last year they collected 1,700 gifts. Many of them went to seniors who are financially challenged or alone. According to the AARP this a reality for 28% of people who are over the age of 65.

"A lot of times seniors feel like they are a bother or maybe they just don't ask for the help, so they have found themselves staying int heir homes instead of being around their families," said Boesch.

The goal is to show seniors they matter and they're doing this by collecting blankets, puzzles and other items. They're making it a reality through 17 drop off locations across the Valley.

Susan Bussean, Program Manager with the Fresno Madera Long-term Care Ombudsman Program is one of the many helping out.

"I'm old and I love gifts, I love surprises, I love unwrapping things," she said. "Can you imagine if you never, ever get that experience? all of us equate no getting a gift with not being loved."

People have until the end of November to donate and there are two ways to do it. They can select a tag from a Christmas tree at one of the locations and purchase an item off the senior's list. They can also give a gift by placing it in the dropbox.
They don't need to be wrapped.

"When you are low income, you're not buying a new hat, you are not buying a new blanket and boy what a difference a new blanket can make," said Boesch.

At the end of their drive, they'll have a wrapping party. It'll take place on December 8th at 9 am at San Joaquin Valley College in Fresno. For more information on what and where you can donate, click the link; https://www.beasantatoasenior.com/
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