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Program Aims to Bring Holiday Cheer to Central VA Seniors - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Program Aims to Bring Holiday Cheer to Central VA Seniors

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"Be a Santa to a Senior" Tree "Be a Santa to a Senior" Tree
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va (WVIR) -

This holiday season you can help a group that's often overlooked by being a Santa for a senior. The "Be a Santa to a Senior" program is sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care. It's an easy way for people to give gifts to low-income seniors in the area, and each year there has been a 100 percent success rate - meaning all participating seniors received the gifts they requested.

This year there are more than 800 people on the list. Organizers get names from the Salvation Army, Social Services, and nursing homes.

The seniors' gift requests are printed on an ornament and placed on a tree in one of various locations in the community. People can then pick one out, buy the gifts, and return it to any of the tree locations -  Branchlands, on Branchlands Drive in Charlottesville, Colonial Auto Center on Route 29 North in Charlottesville, In Vino Veritas on Louisa Road in Keswick, Our Lady of Peace on Hilsdale Drive in Charlottesville, The Senior Center on Pepsi Place in Charlottesville, Volvo of Charlottesville on Ivy Road, and the Walmart stores in Charlottesville, Gordonsville, and Ruckersville.

You can get an ornament from one tree location and drop it off at another. This year seniors are asking for items like socks, slacks, sweaters, and grocery gift cards.

"It's just a nice way to give back during the holidays, there are so many valuable programs out there but the seniors tend to be the forgotten generation so we welcome the opportunity to not only get them a gift, but we visit when we deliver and that's just as important as the gift," said Jeanne McCusker, owner of Home Instead Senior Care.

McCusker said people who don't want to shop can also make a tax deductible donation directly to the program.

The deadline to drop off the gifts is December 15. Organizers are hosting community gift wrap days on December 15 and December 16 and delivering the presents on December 17. 

Click here for more information about being a Santa to a senior by buying gifts, or volunteering to help wrap items.

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