Originally Published: December 10, 2011 9:55 p.m.
When you're shopping for your family for the holiday, pick up a little something for a local senior in need to help brighten their Christmas, too, suggested Ann Weaver, community service representative for Home Instead Senior Care in Prescott.
"Many older adults continue to struggle in a down economy, particularly those who live alone with no family nearby to help provide resources," said Susan D. Abbott, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Yavapai County.
Last year, through the community's generosity, the Be a Santa to a Senior program provided Christmas gifts and companionship to 200 local seniors determined by local nonprofit agencies to be isolated and in need, Weaver said.
Also helping with this effort are Northern Arizona Council of Governments Area Agency on Aging, the Northern Arizona Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Prescott Meals on Wheels, Prescott and Chino People Who Care, West Yavapai Guidance Clinic Senior Peer Program, Casa de Pinos and Good Samaritan Village Tower.
Recently, members of the Lonesome Valley Quilt Guild donated 22 handmade quilts to be donated to seniors, Abbott said.
"We hope holiday shoppers will again open their hearts to those seniors who have given so much to make our community a better place," Abbott said.
People interested in donating presents for seniors can pick an ornament with a senior's first name and gift requests from a tree at one of nine local businesses, buy the gift, and leave the present with the ornament attached at that business by Wednesday, Dec. 14.
Local businesses where people can find seniors' gift requests at are Alliance Home Care in Prescott Valley, C.J. Emporium, Las Fuentes Resort Village, National Bank of Arizona in Prescott Valley, Shapiro's House of Hair Design, the Wal-Mart Supercenter on Highway 69, Walgreen's Pharmacy in Chino Valley, the YMCA and the Yavapai County Attorney's Office.
After all the gifts are collected, community members are invited to volunteer to help wrap gifts at an open house and gift-wrapping party on Friday, Dec. 16, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Unity Church of Prescott at 145 S. Arizona in Prescott.
Nationwide, the Be a Santa to a Senior program has delivered 1.5 million gifts to seniors over the past eight years.