October 23, 2014

Elyria
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Santas sought for seniors

NORTH OLMSTED – The gifts have been purchased, and cheerful Girl Scouts are feverishly wrapping and tagging.

JASON MILLER/CHRONICLE
Aubree Nolan, 7, and her mother, Karen, of Berea, put the finishing touches on a gift for a senior at United Methodist Church in Berea on Wednesday night.

Now the Be a Santa to a Senior program just needs a few people who want to play Santa to make this year`s gift-giving program for seniors a success.

It`s a small way to give back, but will mean a lot to a senior, who will be alone this holiday season, said Sarah Stanton, with the Home Instead Senior Care organization.

“The gift is something each senior has already asked for, but it`s the visit that is the real gift,” she said. “Some seniors don`t have family and this will be the only visit they receive this holiday season. You`ll be amazed to know that how five minutes of companionship can brighten someone`s day.”

Home Instead Senior Care, which provides assistance and companionship to elderly residents who otherwise wouldn`t have anyone, teamed up with local nonprofit organizations to join the nationwide Be a Santa to a Senior program four years ago to make up for the growing number of seniors who go unnoticed during the holiday season, Stanton said.

“We see older adults who have no one during this festive season, and that makes for a very sad and lonely time,” said Geoffrey Moore, owner of Home Instead Senior Care. “Whether they are in a nursing home or in their own homes – where more are choosing to stay – it`s important to reach out to isolated older adults during this special time of the year.”

The gifts will be delivered to seniors in Lorain and western Cuyahoga counties starting Monday.

Stanton said gifts should reach their intended recipients by Dec. 14. Each gift was donated by members of the community who voluntarily selected ornaments detailing a senior`s holiday gift wish from gift trees located across the region.

Stanton said gifts will be distributed to about 700 seniors.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 653-6268 or lroberson@chroniclet.com.