'Be a Santa to a Senior' marks its 10th year

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An effort that has delivered more than 5,000 gifts for local seniors during the past 10 years -- "Be a Santa to a Senior" -- is planned again this holiday season.

The Portage County office of Home Instead Senior Care has teamed with local Portage County senior agencies to provide presents to seniors who otherwise might not receive a gift this holiday season.

"'Be a Santa to a Senior' each year sets new records in contributions of gifts to a group that often is forgotten during the hectic holiday season," said Therese Glorioso, RN, president of Home Instead Senior Care office serving Portage County.

Prior to the holiday season, the participating local non-profit organizations identify financially needy and isolated seniors in the community and provide those names to Home Instead Senior Care for this community service program. The name and gift request of each senior are written on an ornament and then placed on Christmas trees. Tree locations are Streetsboro Senior Center and Excalibur Auto Body in Streetsboro and seven other locations across Portage County.

The trees feature ornaments with the first names of a senior and their respective gift requests.

Holiday shoppers can pick up an ornament, buy items on the list and return them unwrapped to the store, along with the ornament attached. Home Instead Senior Care then enlists the volunteer help of its staff, senior-care business associates, non-profit workers and others to collect, wrap and distribute the gifts to these seniors. A citywide gift-wrapping day, when hundreds of the presents will be wrapped, will take place in early December.

For more information, contact Annette Balis, community service representative for Home Instead Senior Care, at 330-995-1522. Donations may be sent to Home Instead c/o Be A Santa To a Senior, 705 Oakwood St. Suite 107, Ravenna 44266.

For more information about the program, visit www.beasantatoasenior.com.

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