BEND, Ore. - With so many older adults living alone and in poverty, some Central Oregon area seniors will undoubtedly be struggling to make ends meet this holiday season. That's why the area Home Instead Senior Care® office has partnered with retailers and community organizations to make sure isolated seniors receive gifts and companionship through the Be a Santa to a Senior® program.
"Seniors faced with medical bills and the high cost of living can find they have little left at the end of the year," said Todd Sensenbach, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Central Oregon. "That's not the only issue, though. Personal needs may become magnified for so many living alone with no one to share their problems."
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 9 percent of U.S. seniors 65 and older are living in poverty and 27 percent are widowed.*
With the support of Bendbroadband/Zolo Media, COCC Criminal Justice Club, Partners in Care, St. Charles Home Health Services, St. Charles Lifeline, area retailers, volunteers and members of the community, the local Home Instead Senior Care office will collect and distribute gifts to seniors who might otherwise spend the holiday alone. Seven Peaks Middle School in Bend, and Obsidian Middle School in Redmond will be making Christmas cards to go in each gift bag. Central Oregon Community College Criminal Justice Department will be donating quarters for needy seniors to do laundry.
The Be a Santa to a Senior program will kick off November 17th with a tree going up in the Bend Fred Meyer store. Other trees will go up the week after Thanksgiving and remain up through December 18. Christmas trees, which will go up in several area location (see below) will feature ornaments with the first names of the seniors and their respective gift requests.
Holiday shoppers are asked to pick up an ornament off special Be a Santa to a Senior Christmas trees, buy items on the list and return them unwrapped to the store, along with the ornament attached. The Home Instead Senior Care office will then enlist the volunteer help of its staff, senior-care business associates, non-profit workers and others to collect, wrap and distribute the gifts.
"Be a Santa to a Senior is another way to say ‘thank you' to the many seniors who have made such important contributions to our community throughout the years," Sensenbach said. "Helping a needy older adult can bring fulfillment to the giver as well as the receiver – it does make a difference," he added.
For more information about the program, visit www.beasantatoasenior.com or call Todd Sensenbach at 541-330-6400.
Athletic Club of Bend?61615 Athletic Club Dr?Bend, OR 97702?
Bend Senior Center?1600 SE Reed Market Road?Bend, OR 97702?
Erickson's Thriftway - Madras?561 SW 4th St?Madras, OR 97741?
Fred Meyer, Bend? 61535 S Highway 97?Bend, OR 97702?
Home Instead Senior Care? 497 SW Century Drive, Ste. 102?Bend, OR 97702?
Lapine Community Health Center? 51600 Huntington Road?Lapine, OR 97739?
Ray's Food Place - Sisters ?635 N Arrowleaf Trail?Sisters, OR 97759?
Redmond Senior Center? 325 NW Dogwood Avenue?Redmond, OR 97756?
Shilo Inn ?3105 O.B. Riley Road?Bend, OR 97701?
Soroptimist Senior Center - Prineville ?180 NE Belknap Street?Prineville, OR 97754?