To the Editor:
Did you know that 28 percent of people 65 or older live alone, according to AARP? Each year, these seniors have fewer family members and friends to provide company and care to them, which often leads to social isolation.
The holidays can be especially hard for those who are living independently and may feel lonely. There is so much emphasis on gifts for children that our seniors are often forgotten.
Realizing this, the Home Instead Senior Care network initiated the Be a Santa to a Senior program in 2003.
Home Instead partners with local nonprofit and community organizations who identify seniors who might not otherwise receive gifts during the holidays. Nationwide, more than 60,000 volunteers have helped distribute more than 2 million gifts to more than 700,000 deserving seniors.
This is the 12th year of participation by the local Home Instead Senior Care franchise serving Chatham, Effingham, Jasper and Beaufort counties. Since 2006, we have delivered more than 28,000 gifts to 4,826 seniors who otherwise might not have been remembered during the holidays.
This year alone we provided 5,000 gifts to 625 seniors in Chatham, Effingham, Jasper and Beaufort counties.
We at Home Instead Senior Care would like to sincerely thank everyone who participated in and contributed to Be a Santa to a Senior. We are so grateful for those who provided the names and wishes of local seniors; those who hosted the ornaments and those who took the names and filled the wishes.
Thanks also to agencies who hosted wrapping parties and volunteers who helped wrap; those who held fundraisers for the program and those who donated storage space for Santa's workshop. We could not possibly do this without the support of the communities we serve.
Happy New Year!
Home Instead Senior Care Lowcountry