Residents have opportunity to be Santa for seniors

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Residents have the opportunity to be Santa for seniors in Region 8.

Home Instead Senior Care has given millions of Christmas gifts to seniors all over the United States for several years due to partnerships with retailers and generous donations.

Walmart employee and 79-year-old retiree Bobby Alexander spends the holidays with his family every year. "We still have young kids, I say young, 45 or 47, that are making good money and they're always there for us."

But Alexander knows many seniors don't get the same opportunity. "They're forgotten and that's really sad."

Home Instead Senior Care is working with local retailers over the next few weeks on the Be a Santa to a Senior Program. "It's just like the Angel Tree for children where you pick an ornament off of the trees, and you look at what they want," said Sarah Akin of Home Instead. "You purchase it in the stores or elsewhere as long as you bring it back to that original store."

Akin said many of the requests consist of basic personal items such as socks, pants and towels, necessities people living on a fixed income sometimes cannot afford. "Some of these seniors don't have that type of income and their families struggle sometimes to supply them with those."

Alexander draws Social Security in addition to his check at Walmart, but he understands how quickly funds can dwindle, especially during holiday seasons. "The economy runs away from your check, and first thing you know the month's gone, and the check's gone, and the month's still there."

Akin said every year when the deadline for gifts approaches, there are always ornaments left on the trees.  Home Instead will accept donations from people who want to donate money instead of buying a gift at any of the seven participating retail locations until December 13.

For more information about Home Instead Senior Care, click here.

Participating Locations
  • Jonesboro

Posey Peddler, 135 Southwest Drive

Walgreens, 108 East Highland Drive

Walmart, 1911 West Parker Road

  • Walnut Ridge

Walmart, 1600 West Main Street

  • Trumann

Walmart, 512 Industrial Park Drive

  • Paragould

Walgreens, 2802 West Kingshighway

  • Harrisburg

Witts End Diner, 1405 North Illinois Street

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