The "Be a Santa to a Senior" program is now in its eighth year. More than 20 local Kinney Drugs stores are participating.
"We are getting the community involved in a program for seniors... someone that wouldn't normally have a Christmas," said Tamara Walker of Kinney Drugs.
Local retailers have partnered with the Home Instead Senior Care office in South Burlington to make the program possible. In participating stores and businesses, Christmas trees have been set up with ornaments. Each of these ornaments has a request for a gift from a senior. Holiday shoppers are asked to purchase these gifts, which range from as little as $1 to as much as $15 or $20.
"Small things really make a big difference. And again, in addition to the item, the gift, it's just the companionship they get at the time of delivery and knowing that they were thought of," said Patrice Thabault of Home Instead Senior Care.
It's really easy to participate. First, we get an ornament. Then we just need to buy the gift. In this case, it's some women's gloves. All we have to do is purchase the gift. From here it will be wrapped, and eventually delivered to a senior later in December.
Last year, about 1,000 gifts were delivered to more than 500 seniors. Participants are hopeful for even higher numbers this year. Mary Breyette of Winooski is one of the seniors who received a gift last year.
"Helen asked me what kind of music I liked. I said country mushin'. And she said is there any CD you would like? And I said yes, and she got me Hank Snow," Breyette said.
A simple gift put a smile on Breyette's face. There's no doubt many other seniors will be smiling this holiday season.
Be a Santa to a Senior will host a gift wrapping party Dec. 15. To participate call 802-860-4663.
Participating organizations/businesses: CVAA, Kinney Drugs, Big Lots, Rosie's Restaurant, PT360, Dealer.com, GE Healthcare, Orchard Veterinary, People's United, Danaher Attig Plante, and the Arbors at Shelburne.
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