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Senior adults are getting some holiday cheer

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Holiday cheer is being spread to senior adults in Alabama. The Home Instead Senior Cares organization is hosting its annual Be a Santa to a Senior program.

The program supports older adults who may be overlooked, isolated, alone or financially unstable during the holiday season.

Today is the last day to participate by donating online or purchasing a gift on the wish list.

Dan Pahos is the owner of the Birmingham Home Instead office. He explained the ways someone can help these seniors.

“Some retailers put up holiday trees with Christmas ornaments that outline the products that we’re looking for and these are typically useful items that elderly person will actually need and use,” said Pahos. “We did decide to put an online wish list, so we do have a link as well.”

Pahos said the seniors don’t know they are getting a gift, and it’s the thought that counts.

“When we deliver a little bit of cheer and a gift to someone, and they see that they’re gifts that are useful,” Pahos said. “Not only is that of help, but you know what we find? The items are very much needed, but often times it’s the fact that someone thought of that person and delivered a little holiday cheer that otherwise they wouldn’t get. It’s one of the biggest gifts that they receive.”

Since the program’s inception in 2003, Be a Santa to a Senior has mobilized more than 65,000 volunteers, provided approximately 2.2 million gifts, and brightened the season for more than 750,000 deserving older adults nationwide.

Jolencia Jones is a student interns at Alabama Public Radio. During her first term in the APR newsroom, Jolencia has covered a lecture on the U.S. Civil Rights Trail, and the local "Valentines for Veterans" effort, among other stories.
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