December 23, 2013
The community is coming together to make sure seniors have gifts to open on Christmas morning. Home instead Senior Care is running its 9th annual "Be a Santa to a Senior" campaign. In this week's Stephanie's Heroes, CBS19's Stephanie Satchell is featuring the many volunteers making this project possible.
From collecting donations, wrapping presents and delivering gifts, dozens of volunteers are coming together this holiday season to give back and help low-income and isolated seniors in our community.
"It thrills me. It just gives me a special feeling to offer to be a part of it," said Judi Ely, "Be a Santa to a Senior" Volunteer.
Judi Ely and her husband are new to the project and have wrapped dozens of present over the last few days.
"It's some for women and some for men. So, there's a large amount of clothing, socks, blankets, all kinds of toiletries even some food and candy.
This is probably one of the only gifts…it might be the only gift that these seniors get," said Bill Howard, "Be a Santa to a Senior" Volunteer.
Bill Howard has been delivering gifts with the program for eight years and says the best part is showering each senior with presents.
"It's just the excitement on their faces when we deliver a present to them," said Howard.
Many seniors say there's one thing they enjoy more than the packages and that's the interaction with the delivery crew.
"They're really excited they get up and they give us hugs and invite us in their homes and they are extremely excited about it," said Howard.
"It's important because we find that 50 percent of people in nursing homes will never have a visitor. So, in their homes we can only imagine what that number is. Families are separated and our volunteers say the best part is the delivery. They have so much fun," said Jeanne McCusker, Owner, Home Instead Senior Care.