Be a Santa to a Senior

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by Sandra Torres

MILWAUKEE-- A national program is taking over the Milwaukee area and helping provide Christmas gifts to local seniors, who may be spending the holidays alone without gifts under their tree.

The program is called "Be a Santa to a Senior" by Home Instead Senior Care.

"These are all individuals who are alone on the holidays and it's such a heart warming thing to see them light up and smile when they find out someone cares about them," said Herb Beighley, a Franchise owner of Home Instead Senior Care.

More than 700,000 seniors have benefited from the national program that started 7-years-ago. Organizers expect to give out more than 1,000 gifts to local seniors this year.

More than 25 Christmas trees are placed inside Walgreens' stores all over the Milwaukee Area. Each tree has a gift card ornaments with what each senior needs or wants.

"You just take an ornament from the tree and it lists basic every day items that you can get as a gift," said Trina Wankowski, store manager at the Walgreens store in Wauwatosa, which has one of the trees.

"These gifts are very simple... sometimes its a pair of gloves, scarf, or sweater... or just soap. But they mean a lot to the quality of life of the people," added Beighley.

Once the items are bought, they are placed on a bin and later end up at a gift wrapping party at Alexian Village in Milwaukee. Dozens of volunteers, including residents at Alexian Village, wrap up the gifts that will go to complete strangers.

The program runs until mid December. For more information on how to make a donation, visit www.beasantatoasenior.com
 

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