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Well over 800 seniors in Racine and Kenosha will enjoy smiles and the warmth of the Christmas spirit when the elves from HomeInstead Senior Care deliver presents area seniors have wished for.
Now in its 11th year, Santa to a Senior connects needy or lonely senior citizens throughout Racine and Kenosha with members of the community who shop to fulfill wishes. The items listed are featured on ornaments and hung on Christmas trees at various locations around Racine Kenosha.
“Every year we grow by 100 or 150,” Christine Scott of HomeInstead said. “Some gifts are delivered to facilities and others are taken directly to the person’s home; it just depends on where they are.”
721 gifts were delivered in 2013; this year, 811 gifts will be distributed.
In order to qualify for Santa to a Senior, an individual has to be considered lonely or needy. Then, they write their holiday wishes on a large, paper ornament where it is hung on a Christmas tree that is placed somewhere in Racine or Kenosha.
Scott said most often, the entire wish list is fulfilled and wrapped together.
“It’s very rare that only one or two items are donated,” she said. “Some of these packages are pretty heavy because people went out and bought the whole list. It’s pretty amazing.”
The offices of HomeInstead, 2616 Lathrop Avenue, Monday were filled with brightly wrapped packages and gift bags stuffed with colorful tissue paper, and Scott said she felt a little like Santa as she sorted through donations.
Franchise Owner Victor Erato said he was grateful for the outpouring of support.
“This really solidifies that we’re doing the right thing,” he said. “This is very personal to the community and it’s a warm feeling to know our community cares this much.”