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Program intended to brighten local seniors’ holiday season

Published: Monday, Nov. 11, 2013 11:52 a.m. CST • Updated: Monday, Nov. 11, 2013 11:54 a.m. CST

Home Instead Senior Care is teaming up with non-profit agencies and area retailers to sponsor Be a Santa to a Senior – a program that collects, wraps and delivers gifts to lonely and needy seniors in Newton and several surrounding communities. The program runs from Nov. 15 to Dec. 13.  

“The need is especially great this year,” Kendra Galante, a spokeswoman for the program, said. “People can make a difference in the life of a local senior.”

This season, Home Instead Senior Care is working in partnership with local veterans affairs offices, agencies on aging, area retailers, volunteers and members of the community. The goal is to ensure isolated seniors receive gifts and companionship during the holidays.

In Newton, the Be a Santa to a Senior tree will be located at the Newton Hy-Vee store from Nov. 15 to Dec. 13. It will feature ornaments with seniors’ first names and their gift requests.

Holiday shoppers can pick an ornament from the tree, buy the items listed and return them either wrapped or unwrapped to the store, with the ornament attached. The Newton Home Instead Senior Care office will enlist volunteers from its staff, senior-care business associates, non-profit workers and others to collect, wrap and distribute the gifts to local seniors who might otherwise spend the holiday alone.

“Be a Santa to a Senior gives back to older adults in our area, many of whom have had significant, positive influence on our lives and our country,” said Jonna Wisnieski, owner at the local Home Instead Senior Care office. “During this season of giving, we encourage shoppers to buy a little extra to say thank you to these community members.”

She added that this year’s Be a Santa to a Senior program is making a special effort to include military veterans. For more information about the program, visit or call (641) 792-1800.