Home Instead’s annual “Be a Santa to a Senior” program returns this year with a new, online flare to accommodate COVID-19 precautions.
With Bend seniors more isolated than ever because of concerns due to the virus, this year, for the first time in the program’s 17-year history, Home Instead is teaming up with Amazon Business, to create a contactless gift-giving experience for volunteers and recipients.
The new Amazon Business collaboration will provide the same holiday cheer to local seniors while also prioritizing the safety and wellness of all who are involved.
“The Be a Santa to a Senior program brings so much joy to seniors in our community,” said Jonathan Mack, owner of the Bend Home Instead office. “Seniors are especially at risk for the feelings of isolation that we’ve all felt at some point during the pandemic, and a simple gift can show them that they have been thought of, which is more important this year than ever.”
Be a Santa to a Senior relies on the generous support of the Bend community and volunteers, as well as area businesses, nonprofit organizations, and retailers. This year Home Instead has partnered with Council on Aging and Central Oregon Veterans Council.
It’s easy to help.
Members of the community can visit BeASantatoaSenior.com and enter their zip code to view Wish Lists for local seniors on Amazon Business through December 18. A personalized greeting can be included with the gift which will be shipped directly to the senior or to Home Instead where it will be safely delivered to the senior.
“We need the community’s help more than ever to make sure seniors feel connected this year,” said Mack. “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.”
Since the program’s creation in 2003, Be a Santa to a Senior has provided approximately 2.1 million gifts and with the help of more than 75,000 volunteers, brightened the season for more than 750,000 deserving seniors nationwide.
With adjustments, Home Instead will be able to continue the annual gift-giving program while following social distancing and safety precautions during COVID-19.
For more information about the program, visit BeaSantaBend.com or call 541-330-6400.
For ideas and inspiration around helping seniors in your community, visit ReadytoCare.com.