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Be A Santa to a Senior: Giving back to elderly community in South Georgia

Posted at 9:06 PM, Nov 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-10 21:06:39-05

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) — At a time when it may be more important than ever, a seasonal favorite, 'Be A Santa to a Senior' returns with new options for community participation.

Program coordinators evaluated the important holiday program and made adjustments with the safety of donors, seniors, and volunteers in mind.

With seniors in Lowndes, Brooks, Lanier, Cook, Thomas and Colquitt Counties more isolated than ever because of concerns due to the virus, for the first time in the program's 17-year history, along with traditional trees with gift-request ornaments, Home Instead is teaming up with Amazon Business, to create a contactless gift-giving experience for volunteers and recipients.

The new Amazon Business collaboration will provide the same holiday cheer to local seniors while also prioritizing the safety and wellness of all who are involved.

"The Be a Santa to a Senior program brings so much joy to seniors in our community," said Chuck Coker, owner of the Home Instead office serving Valdosta, Thomasville, and Tifton. "We've all felt isolated at some point during the pandemic, but seniors are especially at risk of feeling isolated, and a simple gift can show them that we are thinking of them. And that's more important this year than ever."

Be a Santa to a Senior relies on the generous support of the local community and volunteers and area businesses, nonprofit organizations, and retailers.

Home Instead has also partnered with Lowndes County elementary schools to provide decorated gift bags.

It's easy to help. Members of the community can visit by clicking here and entering their zip code to view Wish Lists for local seniors in the area available on Amazon Business through December 18.

A personalized greeting can be included with the gift, which will be safely delivered to the senior.

Shoppers can also visit one of these participating locations listed below to get more information about the Be a Santa to a Senior program:
• Publix, 3330 Inner Perimeter Rd., Valdosta, GA 31602
• Publix, 1741 Gornto Rd., Valdosta, GA 31601
• Home Instead Senior Care, 4480 Valnorth Dr. Suite D, Valdosta. GA 31602

"We need the community's help more than ever to make sure our seniors feel connected this year," said Coker. "With all that's happened this year, we knew we had to find a way to reach those seniors with some holiday cheer, and we are grateful for the community's support."

Since the program's creation in 2003, Be a Santa to a Senior has provided approximately 2.1 million gifts and brightened the season for more than 750,000 deserving seniors nationwide. With adjustments, Home Instead will continue the annual gift-giving program while following social distancing and safety precautions during COVID-19.

For more information about the program, click here or call 229-245-0123.