‘Be a Santa to a Senior’ to help hundreds during the holidays

Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 6:47 PM EST
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ROANOKE CO., Va. (WDBJ) - The paper bulbs that hang from a small Christmas tree tell a story of basic needs and simple requests.

Each one carries the Christmas wish of a local senior.

“In this case I have Michael,” said Betsy Head, holding one of the wishes. “Michael requested a pair of size large pajamas.”

For almost 20 years, Home Instead Senior Care has organized ‘Be a Santa to a Senior.’

Betsy Head says recipients are not the company’s clients. They’re referred by social service agencies and other groups that assist seniors throughout the year.

“Every year this makes Christmas happen for me,” she told WDBJ7.

We met at Elderberry’s in Roanoke County, one of the businesses hosting a tree with seniors’ requests.

People can pick out a bulb, shop for a senior and return the gifts to the same location by December 6.

“Frequently, Seniors are overlooked in the holidays, because the focus is on children,” Head said in an interview. “We get to bring the focus to seniors and the simplicity of their needs, and also the easy way it is to make a difference in their lives.”

Including Roanoke, Lynchburg and surrounding counties, ‘Be a Santa to a Senior’ will help between 1600 and 1700 people this year.

Head says she appreciates the generosity of everyone in the community who takes part in the program year after year and brightens the lives of so many seniors.

To find a gift tree location in Roanoke or Lynchburg, click on the following link:

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