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Thursday July 7th, 2022 12:41AM

Program brightens holidays for seniors in 9 area counties

By Staff
This season, many Rabun, Stephens, White, Lumpkin, Pickens, Fannin, Gilmer, Towns and Union counties seniors who are alone or impoverished will receive some holiday cheer thanks to the Be a Santa to a Senior program. <br /> <br /> Sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care, the program brings together area nonprofits, retailers, numerous volunteers and members of the community to provide gifts and companionship for lonely and isolated seniors.<br /> <br /> "It is heartbreaking to think of the senior members of our community spending the holidays all by themselves, without any gifts or any way to celebrate the season," says Andrew Williams, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Rabun, Stephens, White, Lumpkin, Pickens, Fannin, Gilmer, Towns and Union counties. "But all too often, that's what happens when seniors live alone. It can be a really tough time of year for them."<br /> <br /> Program partners and volunteers will help with the gift collection and distribution. Program officials hope to collect 500 gifts in order to help more than 250 of area seniors this holiday season.<br /> <br /> Participating retail locations will display Be a Santa to a Senior Christmas trees until December 19 that feature ornaments with seniors' first names and their gift requests. Holiday shoppers can pick ornaments from the trees, buy the items listed and return them unwrapped (and with the ornament attached) to the store.<br /> <br /> Be a Santa to a Senior trees will be located at:<br /> <br /> · Ingalls Market - 207 Highway 515, Blairsville<br /> <br /> Program partners and volunteers will wrap and distribute the gifts to local seniors who might otherwise spend the holiday alone.<br /> <br /> "During this season of giving, we encourage shoppers to buy a little extra for a local senior," said Williams. "Your gift - and more importantly the visit that comes with the delivery
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