November 20, 2009 –The Be a Santa to a Senior program has delivered more than one million gifts to needy seniors throughout North America in the past five years. This is the first year Hermitage, Mt. Juliet and Smith, Wilson and DeKalb Counties have participated in this program. The local Home Instead Senior Care franchise has joined Summit Medical Center, CVS, Meals on Wheels, Greater Nashville Regional Council, Resource Center on Aging and Friendship Christian School to provide presents and special visits to local seniors who otherwise might be overlooked this holiday season.
“Most people aren’t aware that there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of seniors in every community who have no family and are alone,” said Maggie Julian, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving the communities of Hermitage and Mt. Juliet and Smith, Wilson and DeKalb Counties. “The holiday is often considered a time for children, but seniors – especially those who are isolated and lonely – need to be remembered as well. Be a Santa to a Senior is designed to give back to those needy seniors as well as to help stimulate human contact and social interaction for older adults who are unlikely to have guests during the holidays.”
Here is how the program works: Prior to the holiday season, the participating local non-profit organizations will identify needy and isolated seniors and provide those names to Home Instead Senior Care for this community service program. The seniors’ first names will be printed on the ornaments that will decorate either a wreath or Christmas tree at Summit Medical Center and CVS. The seniors’ respective gift requests will also be printed on the ornament. A wreath will be unveiled at Summit Medical Center located at 5655 First Boulevard, Hermitage on December 3 at 2:00 p.m. Also a tree will be up in CVS at 4402 Lebanon Pike in Hermitage on November 20.
Holiday shoppers can pick up an ornament, buy items on the list, and return the unwrapped gifts to the store or hospital, along with the ornament attached. Next, Home Instead Senior Care, senior-care business associates, non-profit workers and others will collect, wrap and distribute the gifts. Community gift-wrapping will be held on December 15 at 1:00 p.m. at Friendship Christian School at 5400 Coles Ferry Pike in Lebanon. Ms. Rhiannon Brazzell’s 4th grade class will be wrapping gifts as part of their class community service project. The gifts will be distributed on December 21 at the Resource Center on Aging at Harpeth Hills Church of Christ at 1949 Old Hickory Blvd. from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
“Be a Santa to a Senior is a way to show our gratitude to those older adults who have contributed so much to our community,” Julian said. “We hope to reach out to many with this gesture of holiday cheer and goodwill.”
If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering to help with the gift-wrapping event, please contact Maggie Julian at 615-553-4297. Businesses are encouraged to contact the local Home Instead Senior Care office about adopting groups of seniors. For tree locations in your area, or for more information about the program, log onto www.beasantatoasenior.com.
Summit Medical Center is a 188-bed regional medical center serving the residents of Davidson, Wilson and surrounding counties. Summit offers a full range of services including emergency, medical, surgical, obstetric, oncology, psychiatric and diagnostic services. The hospital also offers the latest advances in imaging services, including the area’s first hospital based 64-slice CT scanner. For more information, call TriStar MedLine at 615-342-1919 or visit www.TriStarHealth.com and click on Summit Medical Center.