Local program brightens the holidays for seniors

A southern Minnesota program will be making the holidays a little brighter for seniors.

The Be A Santa to a Senior program, sponsored by the local Home Instead Senior Care office, brings together area nonprofits, retailers, numerous volunteers and members of the community to provide gifts and companionship for lonely and isolated seniors.

“It is heartbreaking to think of the senior members of our community spending the holidays all by themselves, without any gifts or any way to celebrate the season,” said John Pacchetti in a press release. Pacchetti is the owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving southeast Minnesota. “But all too often, that’s what happens when seniors live alone. It can be a really tough time of year for them.”

Program officials hope to collect 350 gifts to help more than 350 area seniors this holiday season.

Participating retail locations will display Be a Santa to a Senior Christmas trees from now until Dec. 14 that feature ornaments with seniors’ first names and their gift requests. Holiday shoppers can pick ornaments from the trees, buy the items listed and return them unwrapped – and with the ornament attached – to the store.

Be a Santa to a Senior trees will be located at:

•Dunn Brothers at North 120 Elton Hills Dr. NW #300, Rochester

•Walgreens at 1112 Civic Center Dr. NW, Rochester

•Walgreens at 80 14th St. SW, Rochester

Program partners and volunteers will wrap and distribute the gifts to local seniors who might otherwise spend the holiday alone.

For more information about the program, visit BeaSantatoaSenior.com or call 507-285-1700.

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