Be a Santa to a Senior program runs through today

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The American Association of Retired Persons says 28 percent of people 65 or older live alone. Each year, these seniors have fewer family members and friends to provide company and care to them, which often can lead to social isolation. The holidays can be especially hard for those who are living independently and may feel lonely.

That’s why the Home Instead Senior Care® Office serving Reno and Carson City is inviting the community to come together to provide gifts and holiday cheer to seniors who may be isolated from friends or family this holiday season through its Be a Santa to a Senior® program. In the 15 years since the program’s creation, more than 700 local seniors have received 1,200 gifts annually.

“Be a Santa to a Senior helps bring comfort and a smile to many seniors. It shows them that people care about them and see them as an important part of the community,” says Allan Ward of the Reno Home Instead Senior Care office. “Social isolation is a concern among seniors and the holidays often intensify feelings of distance and loneliness. When we deliver the gifts and spend some time with them, it makes a big difference.”

Be a Santa to a Senior is a true community program, getting support from local businesses, nonprofit organizations, retailers, numerous volunteers and members of the community. The local Home Instead Senior Care office has partnered with local businesses, service clubs and social service agencies to help with gift collection and distribution.

It’s easy to help out. Go to one of the participating locations listed below and look for the Be a Santa to a Senior tree on display through December 5. Each tree will be decorated with ornaments featuring seniors’ first names and their desired gifts. Holiday shoppers can choose an ornament, buy the requested gift and return it to the store with the ornament attached. There’s no need to worry about wrapping — community volunteers and program partners will wrap and deliver the gifts to local seniors in time for the holidays.

“We’re always excited to see how much Be a Santa to a Senior boosts seniors’ spirits during the holiday season,” says Ward. “And we are grateful to be a part of a community that comes together to make this happen.”

Be a Santa to a Senior trees can be found at the following locations:

• Whole Foods 6139S Virginia St Reno, NV 89502
• Umpqua Bank – 3 Locations
o 1680 Robb Dr Reno, NV 89523
o 9990 Double Diamond Reno, NV 89521
o 3490 S Virginia Reno, 89502
• Sierra Smiles 5465 Kietzke Ln, Reno, NV 89511
• Summit Smiles 10595 Double R Blvd Reno, NV 89521
• Somersett Owners Association 7650 Town Square Ln Reno, NV 89523
• Caughlin Ranch Athletic Club 4100 Caughlin Pkwy Reno, NV 89519
• Eye Zone 535 Arlington Ave Reno, NV 89509
• Duncan Golf Management
o Lakeside 1218 Golf Club Dr Reno, NV 89519
o Wildcreek 3500 Sullivan Lane Reno, NV 89431
o Wolf Run1400 Wolf Run Rd Reno, NV 89511
• Downtown Vision 236 W. 6th St. Ste #100 Reno, NV 89503
• St Mary’s 690 Sierra Rose Drive Reno, NV 89511
• John Smith Attorney 499 Plumb Ln Ste 202 Reno, NV 89509