A Holiday Campaign Helps Area Seniors Suffering from Poverty and Loneliness

FREMONT – An annual campaign is once again being planned for the holiday season.

Be a Santa to a Senior is a popular campaign that delivers gifts to seniors who face poverty and loneliness. The Fremont area office of the Home Instead Senior Care network is partnering with Premier Estates, Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging, Fremont Housing Authority, Dunklau Gardens, and the Fremont Friendship Center to provide gifts to seniors who otherwise might not receive any during the holidays. Mary Atkinson, the Community Resource Coordinator with Home Instead Care in Fremont, says they receive the names of seniors from outside the Fremont area as well.

“We get names from area nursing homes, and actually get names from the Wahoo area, and also from Blair. They look like paper ornaments, but we fill those out with the seniors’ information,” said Atkinson. “Then we put those on Christmas trees and wreaths in area businesses. The public pulls those off, they purchase the gift, and then bring it back unwrapped.”

The ornaments will be on trees and wreaths at First State Bank on Military Avenue, the Fremont Mall, and The Wise Olde Owl Gift Shop. The deadline to return the gifts to the locations will be December 15th. There will then be a community gift-wrapping event before the presents are delivered to the seniors. Atkinson says the community response has always been great, and the seniors are always grateful for the support.

“Last year was an awesome year. The community response was phenomenal. We had an abundance of gifts, so that we were able to actually give everyone pretty much everything that they asked for,” said Atkinson. “And the seniors’ response, they just feel so blessed that someone remembers them. And that they have something to open at Christmas.”

For more information about the program you can visit www.beasantatoasenior.com or call (402) 753-2078.

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