“Be A Santa To A Senior” Program - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

“Be A Santa To A Senior” Program

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There are a lot of programs helping children and families in need during the holidays but there is another group of people who need to be thought about during this season - our seniors.

"I would want to say it comes from the heart," said Beaumont resident Georgia Owens.

For nearly a decade now the elderly folks in our area living alone and in poverty have not been forgotten over the holiday season.

"It's letting them know that somebody cares," said Owens.

As Georgia Owens shows off her favorite dress and the radio that she uses everyday she remembers how thankful she is for the "Be a Santa to a Senior" program.

"You cannot feel any other way other than grateful," said Owens.

Home Instead Senior Care has partnered with community organizations and local nutrition service centers to find seniors in need, to put their name and wish list up on the Christmas tree.

"The smile that they have, the thank you that they express to the volunteer giving them the gift, it's amazing," said Larry Siler with Home Instead.

This is the 10th year for the "Be a Santa to a Senior" program and Siler says they're hoping to serve more than 5,000 seniors.

"It's a big increase from when we started 10 years ago with just 25 or 30 seniors that we were serving at that time."

And this year there are about 100 trees in local grocery stores, pharmacies and banks around the golden triangle.

"So many retail stores are participating and the response has been just wonderful," said Siler.

A wonderful program that brings a tear to Owens eye.

"I just want to let them know how thankful I am," said Owens.

Ninety-nine percent of all nursing homes and assisted living organizations in the Golden Triangle are included as well.

Donations should be returned by December 20th to the tree where you picked up the seniors name.

The trees are located in various retail locations: the Walmart stores in Vidor and Orange, all CVS Drug stores, Walgreen's stores, Family Pharmacy Stores, as well as Central Mall, JC Penny's and Macy's at Parkdale Mall, Compass Bank Locations, and the Five Point Credit Union across from the airport. 

Also included are Market Basket stores and HEB stores.

Wesley United Methodist Church and Westgate Memorial Baptist Church are also helping.

Even the Bronze Body Tanning Salon locations are helping as well.

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