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imagesThrough the Be a Santa to a Senior program, area retailers and agencies that serve older adults have partnered with Home Instead Senior Care to make sure that isolated seniors receive gifts and companionship.

The campaign, which has been around for the past 11 years, has provided more than 2,000 gifts to local needy seniors and is being planned again this holiday season. With support from generous people in the community, the organizers were able to collect more than 670 gifts last year for local seniors who otherwise might have been overlooked this holiday season.

“Be a Santa to a Senior is a great way to give back to the older adults in the community during the hectic holiday season when many are forgotten,” said Victor Erato, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office, which serves Racine, Kenosha and Walworth counties. “The holiday is often considered a time for children, but seniors – especially those who are isolated and lonely – need to be remembered as well. Be a Santa to a Senior also is designed to help stimulate human contact and social interaction for older adults who are unlikely to have guests during the holidays.”

Many volunteers also shared their time to collect, wrap and deliver the gifts to the Racine, Kenosha, and Walworth area seniors, many of whom struggle to make ends meet.

“Be a Santa to a Senior is a way to show our gratitude to those older adults who have contributed so much to our community,” Erato said. “We hope to reach out to many with this gesture of holiday cheer and goodwill.”

If you would like to host a tree at your church, school, place of business or if you rather donate items for gifts, or even volunteer to help deliver or wrap gifts, please contact Christine Scott at (262) 598-0290 for details.

Thanks to ALL who helped us last year brighten the holidays for our local seniors and truly making a difference in our community.

For tree locations in your area, or for more information about the program, log on to

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.