Be a Santa to a Senior to help spread Christmas cheer in Roanoke

Santa for a Senior
Santa for a Senior(KWCH)
Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 10:47 AM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The “Be a Santa to a Senior” program has gone through some changes designed for safe community participation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Home Instead’s® seasonal program is in its 17th year. With “Roanoke and Lynchburg seniors more isolated than ever because of concerns due to the virus,” according to Home Instead, the senior care organization will collect and distribute gifts for area seniors through online shopping through a special Amazon Business store this year. Ornaments on trees in local businesses and retailers will share the link to Wish Lists for Roanoke and Lynchburg seniors on Amazon Business. No gifts will be collected locally due to COVID concerns.

“The Be a Santa to a Senior program brings so much joy to seniors in our community,” said Betsy Head, owner of the Home Instead offices in Roanoke and Lynchburg. “Seniors are especially at risk for the feelings of isolation that we’ve all felt at some point during the pandemic, and a simple gift can show them that they have been thought of, which is more important this year than ever.”

Be a Santa to a Senior relies on the support of the Roanoke and Lynchburg communities and volunteers, as well as area businesses, nonprofit organizations, and retailers. This year Home Instead has partnered again with several agencies to identify seniors, including the LOA, Candis Home for Adults, the Roanoke County, Roanoke City, Botetourt County, and Franklin County Departments of Social Services, Ridgeview Apartments, A Porter’s Haven, Woodhaven Nursing Home, the Adult Care Center, the Alzheimer’s Association, Accordius, Edinburgh Square, Elm Manor, Fairington Apartments, Friendship Manor, North Roanoke Assisted Living, Brookdale Salem, the Botetourt Resource Center, Wesley Aparmtments, Adult Care Center of Central VA, Campbell County DSS, Guggenheimer Health and Rehab, Clearbrook Apartments, Central VA Alliance for Community Living (CVACL), Fairmont Crossing Apartments, Lynchburg DSS, McGurk House, Meals on Wheels of Lynchburg, Amherst County DSS, Appomattox Health and Rehab, Hillcrest Apartments, John Early Apartments, Centra Health, Bedford County DSS and the Brian Center.

If you want to be involved, visit, enter your zip code to view Wish Lists and purchase gift requests for local seniors on Amazon Business through Dec. 18. A personalized greeting can be included with the gift, which will be shipped directly to the senior.

You can also visit one of the participating locations listed below and look for the Be a Santa to a Senior tree on display from Nov. 23 – Dec. 18. Ornaments with instructions about this year’s program can be found on the tree, directing shoppers to visit to select a Wish List. Shoppers can purchase one or all of the requested gifts online through the Amazon Business store, select the senior’s name in the shipping address options and the gift will be sent directly to the senior. Address information will not be visible to protect the privacy of the gift recipient.

“We need the community’s help more than ever to help our seniors feel connected this year,” said Head. “This year we knew we had to find a way to spread holiday cheer to seniors, and we are deeply grateful for the community’s participation.”

Be a Santa to a Senior trees can be found at the following locations:

  • Valley View Mall - 4802 Valley View Blvd NW, Roanoke, VA 24012
  • Valley View Olive Garden - 1925 Valley View Blvd NW, Roanoke, VA 24012
  • Cloverdale Post Office - 4518 Read Mountain Rd, Cloverdale, VA 24077
  • Green Ridge Rec Center -  7415 Wood Haven Rd, Roanoke, VA 24019
  • Vistar Eye Center - 70 Summerfield Ct, Roanoke, VA 24019
  • DownHome Pharmacy – 671 Teresa Ln, Roanoke, VA 24019
  • The Orchards Apartments Homes – 5360 Orchard Hill Drive Roanoke, VA 24019
  • District Vue Apartments - 2550 Orange Ave NE, Roanoke, VA 24012
  • Olive Garden Wards Rd - 4038 Wards Rd, Lynchburg, VA 24502
  • Bedford Area YMCA - 1111 Turnpike Rd, Bedford, VA 24523
  • Bedford Central Library - 321 N Bridge St, Bedford, VA 24523
  • Big Island Library - 1111 Schooldays Rd, Big Island, VA 24526
  • Montvale Library - 11575 W Lynchburg Salem Turnpike, Montvale, VA 24122
  • Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce - Bridgewater Plaza, 16430 Booker T Washington Hwy #2, Moneta, VA 24121
  • Campbell County Public Library - 684 Village Hwy, Rustburg, VA 24588
  • Timbrook Library - 18891 Leesville Rd, Lynchburg, VA 24501
  • Forest Library - 15583 Forest Rd, Forest, VA 24551
  • Applebees Altavista - 169 Clarion Rd, Altavista, VA 24517
  • Patrick Henry Memorial Library -  204 Lynchburg Ave, Brookneal, VA 24528
  • Stewartsville Library - 45 Cascade Dr, Vinton, VA 24179
  • Templeton Senior Center - 225 Wiggington Rd, Lynchburg, VA 24502
  • La Villa Italian Restaurant - 8109 Timberlake Rd, Lynchburg, VA 24502

For more information about the program, visit or call 540.966.3399.

For ideas and inspiration around helping seniors in your community, visit

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