The holidays are approaching, but seniors may need to stay at home and away from people due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers with the Be a Santa to a Senior program is working to safely remind them that they're not alone.
The program now has online options for people in the community to buy gifts for seniors. People can search for nearby trees with the names of seniors on them. Then, they can click the person's name and search through a wishlist for gifts.
People can purchase gifts for them through Amazon, which will then be shipped to Home Instead, an organization that helps organize the event. They will safely bring it to seniors so that they can get a holiday gift during the COVID-19 pandemic.
People can also be on the lookout for a Be a Santa to a Senior tree on display at retailers in their communities. On the trees are ornaments with the names of seniors on them. Shoppers can take the ornament, buy a gift for the person, and bring it to the store with the ornament attached.
They can be found at two locations in Knoxville:
- Long's Drugs 4604 Kingston Pike Knoxville, TN 37919
- The Pinnacle at Turkey Creek 11251 Parkside Dr. Knoxville, TN 37934
The gift should be unwrapped, and officials said the store will bring the gift to Home Instead to be delivered.
Trees and virtual lists will be available through December 23, officials said.
"We need the community's help more than ever to make sure seniors feel connected this year," said Amy Hull, owner of the Knoxville Home Instead office. "This year we knew we had to find a way to spread holiday cheer to seniors, and we are grateful for the community's participation."
This year Home Instead has partnered with Longs Drug, Westmoreland Health & Rehabilitation, and Kindred at Home. Officials also said the Pinnacle at Turkey Creek will be co-sponsoring a kickoff event to begin collecting gifts.