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November 16, 2010 05:02 PM

Be A Santa To A Senior

Sioux Falls, SD


A Sioux Falls agency is asking for some holiday help. Organizers want to make sure seniors -- who don't have family nearby -- still receive gifts and companionship this holiday season.

When you see a Christmas tree in stores with tags on it, the tags often ask for toys for needy children. But the tags on the trees at Lewis Drug Stores are for senior citizens.

"We are just trying to brighten the holiday season for seniors who could use a little extra cheer," Jim Valder said.

Jim Valder with Home Instead Senior Care is heading up the Be a Santa to a Senior program. He said gifts, donated by people who take an ornament, may be the only gifts the senior will receive.

The gifts these seniors are looking for aren't anything out of the ordinary.

"(They ask for) things like a tin of popcorn, a three-divider tin of popcorn, slippers, a CD, video, very modest, very modest," Valder said.

Last year, Valder collected gifts for 250 seniors. This year, with the help of these trees, he hopes to reach out to 600 grateful recipients.

"It has brought people to tears, including some of us and our volunteers, but they are very appreciative," Valder said.

The gifts will be taken to five assisted living and nursing homes in Sioux Falls. Organizers say the hardest part is wrapping those gifts. Besides the gifts, they are asking for volunteers to help wrap the gifts.

If you would like more information about Be a Santa to a Senior program, contact Valder at 605-274-2273.
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