Special to Iredell Free News

The holiday season is the season of giving and a time to share smiles with those around you. As you gather to drink hot cocoa and sing carols with family and friends, it’s important to remember there are seniors in Iredell County who would love to celebrate, too. However, many seniors live alone, without someone to share this special time.

Home Instead Senior Care is once again offering the community a chance to spread joy to local seniors. Through the Be a Santa to a Senior program, community members can give a senior a special holiday gift. Since the program’s inception in 2003, the Be a Santa to a Senior program has mobilized more than 60,000 volunteers, provided approximately 1.2 million gifts and brightened the season for more than 700,000 deserving seniors nationwide.

Last year, more than 3,500 gifts were collected in Statesville and Mooresville, and program organizers anticipate collecting that many again this year.

“The Be a Santa to a Senior program is all about including seniors in the joy of the holiday season,” said Tracey Gibson, owner of the Statesville Home Instead Senior Care office. “A simple gift shows them they are a loved and vital member of our community.”

Be a Santa to a Senior receives support from local businesses, nonprofit organizations, retailers, numerous volunteers and members of the community. The Home Instead Senior Care office serving Iredell and Alexander Counties has partnered with several Statesville and Mooresville businesses and nonprofits, including Millcreek Manon/Aurora, Brian Center, Emanuel’s Place, Iredell Council on Aging, Jurney’s, Mooresville Nutrition Site, Iredell Christian Ministries, Christian Mission, Mapleleaf, Rosewood, Taylorsville House, Plaza Apartments and Autumn Care Statesville to identify seniors, help with gift collection and distribution.

How to Get Involved

It’s easy to help. Visit one of the participating locations listed below and look for the Be a Santa to a Senior tree on display through December 10. Each tree will be decorated with ornaments featuring seniors’ first names and gift suggestions. 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.

“While it may seem like a small act of kindness, it can really make a difference for someone this holiday season,” said Gibson. “Watching seniors open the gifts they received through Be a Santa to a Senior and seeing the smiles and appreciation on their faces is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season.”

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

♦ Ahlara International Day Spa, 155 Joe V. Knox Avenue, Mooresville
 Brawley Animal Hospital, 111 Raceway Drive, Mooresville
 Groucho’s Deli Statesville, 101 E. Broad Street, Statesville
 Mooresville – South Iredell Chamber of Commerce, 149 E. Iredell Avenue, Mooresville
 South Iredell Senior Center, 202 N. Church Street, Mooresville
 Walmart Mooresville, 169 Norman Station Boulevard, Mooresville
 Walmart Statesville, 1116 Crossroads Drive, Statesville

Learn More

For more information about the program, visit BeaSantatoaSenior.com or call 704-924-9909.