Program continues through Dec. 12
Some seniors in Preston and Monongalia counties could find surprises under their trees this year.
“The Be a Santa to a Senior program brings so much joy to seniors in our community,” said Matt Lenart, owner of the Morgantown Home Instead office. “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.”
Shawn Rankin, a pharmacy technician at Kingwood Pharmacy, said the Be a Santa tree there is decorated with bulbs that have a list of suggested gifts on them, the senior’s age, and whether they are male or female.
This year Home Instead has partnered with several area organizations that work with seniors to identify gift recipients, including West Side Senior Center, Scotts Run Settlement House, Visiting Homemakers, Preston County Senior Center, Sundale Rehabilitation and Long-Term Care and Assisted Living at Evergreen.
In addition, several area businesses will support the program or adopt seniors, including Seamon Law Office, Kingwood Pharmacy, Harmony of Morgantown, Encompass Health and Rehab, Clear Mountain Bank and Kingdom EMC Church.
“Home Instead contacted us about putting up the tree,” Rankin said. “We thought it was a good thing. We have a lot of seniors and everyone needs a little Christmas.”
Rankin said customers can choose one of the bulbs, purchase their gifts, bring them in and put them under the tree by Dec. 12 with the bulb attached.
“We’re hoping it becomes an annual thing,” she said. “We started with about 20 bulbs and now we’re down to 10.”
Since the program’s creation in 2003, Be a Santa to a Senior has provided about 2.1 million gifts and, with the help of more than 75,000 volunteers, brightened the season for more than 750,000 seniors nationwide. With adjustments, Home Instead will be able to continue the annual gift-giving program while following social distancing and safety precautions during COVID-19.
Be a Santa to a Senior trees will be on display til Dec. 12. Each tree will be decorated with ornaments featuring seniors’ first names and gift suggestions.
Holiday shoppers can choose an ornament, buy the requested gift and return it unwrapped to the store with the ornament attached.
Be a Santa to a Senior trees can be found at:
- Home Instead, 125 Granville Square, Suite 106, Morgantown.
- West Side Senior Center, 500 Dupont Road, Westover.
- Mountaineer Mall Professional Plaza Center Court, 5000 Green Bag Road, Morgantown.
- Walgreens, 405 Fairmont Road, Westover.
- Walgreens, 897 Chestnut Ridge Road, Morgantown.
- Friendly Nails, 1399 Earl Core Road, Morgantown.
- Kingwood Pharmacy 220 West Main St., Kingwood.
- Kingdom EMC Church, 540 Fairmont Road, Morgantown.
- Clear Mountain Bank, 102 Venture Drive, Morgantown.
For more information about the program, visit BeaSantatoaSenior.com or call 304-906-4333.