Santa is coming to town
By RACHEL BRANT
Central Kitsap Reporter Staff writer
November 5, 2009 · Updated 3:13 PM
Many seniors actively give back year-round, so one local senior care business wants to give back to those men and women this holiday season.
“They’re always serving. Seniors are very giving,” John Hopkins said. “It’s just always nice to be able to do something for them.”
Home Instead Senior Care, serving Gig Harbor and Kitsap County, is hosting “Be a Santa to a Senior” this holiday season to bring Christmas cheer to seniors who are least likely to receive gifts.
“It’s something we always felt needed to be done,” said Hopkins, owner of the Bremerton-based senior care business. “Seniors seem to get forgotten.”
Home Instead Senior Care office manager Barbara Seiber contacted 20 rehabilitation and nursing facilities from Gig Harbor to Bainbridge Island asking for names of seniors who would benefit from receiving gifts during the holidays.
More than 400 names later, “Be a Santa to a Senior” is up and running, with people and companies calling to sponsor seniors and buy gifts.
“The community support has been very strong,” Seiber said. “But I’ve quadrupled in size this year, so we still have a lot of seniors to support.”
Seiber only contacted six senior facilities for last year’s “Be a Santa to a Senior” program and it was so successful, she upped the number this year.
Sponsors are given a first name and last initial of the senior they are buying gifts for. They also learn the senior’s favorite colors, sizes and other things to help them purchase appropriate gifts for that person.
“We’re not asking for things that would be considered luxuries,” Hopkins said.
“Most of the time it’s norm stuff like warm nightgowns, things like that,” Seiber added.
People who do not have time to purchase gifts can mail monetary donations to Home Instead Senior Care and they’ll do the shopping.
“It’s an opportunity to make a difference in somebody’s life,” Hopkins said. “We just wouldn’t want to see somebody go this holiday season without a gift.”
Home Instead Senior Care will ship the gifts to the different facilities for the seniors to open during holiday parties.
Since 2005, Home Instead Senior Care has provided home care services to seniors to maintain their independence by assisting with personal care, meal preparation, medication reminders, stand-by assistance and help with errands and doctor appointments.
Hopkins left the corporate world in 2005 to purchase the local Home Instead franchise.
“It just became very obvious this is where I was supposed to be,” he said.
Gifts, preferably wrapped, are due to Home Instead Senior Care by Dec. 1.
To sponsor a senior, call Home Instead at (360) 782-4663. Monetary donations may be mailed to Home Instead Senior Care, 840 Callahan Dr., Suite C, Bremerton, WA 98311.