Holiday program helps seniors struggling with poverty and loneliness

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Tree locations

Strikes Family Entertainment Center
5681 Lonetree Blvd., Rocklin

Auburn Ravine Terrace
750 Auburn Ravine Road, Auburn

Community 1st Bank
649 Lincoln Way, Auburn

Courthouse Coffee
1425 Lincoln Way, Auburn

372 Elm Ave., Auburn

Oakwood Village
3388 Bell Road, Auburn

Progressive Home Care
11879 Kemper Road, Suite 15, Auburn

TiAmo Salon and Spa
215 Maple St., Auburn


Walgreens locations
2177 Sunset Blvd, Rocklin
3999 Foothills Blvd., Roseville
12120 New Airport Road, Auburn

With so many older adults living alone and in poverty, some area seniors will undoubtedly be struggling to make ends meet this holiday season. That’s why Home Instead Senior Care has partnered with retailers and community organizations to make sure isolated seniors receive gifts and companionship through the Be a Santa to a Senior® program.

“Seniors faced with medical bills and the high cost of living can find they have little left at the end of the year,” said Buck Shaw, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado and Nevada counties. “That’s not the only issue, though. Personal needs may become magnified for so many living alone with no one to share their problems.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 9 percent of U.S. seniors 65 and older are living in poverty and 27 percent are widowed.

With the support of  Seniors First Meals on Wheels, Gold Country Meals on Wheels, Girl Scouts Heart of Central California, Walker’s Office Supply area retailers, volunteers and members of the community, the local Home Instead Senior Care office will collect and distribute gifts to seniors who might otherwise spend the holiday alone.

The Be a Santa to a Senior program will run through Dec. 24. Christmas trees, which will go up in locations throughout the county, will feature ornaments with the first names of the seniors and their respective gift requests.

Holiday shoppers are asked to pick up an ornament off special Be a Santa to a Senior Christmas trees, buy items on the list and return them unwrapped to the store, along with the ornament attached. The Home Instead Senior Care office will then enlist the volunteer help of its staff, senior-care business associates, nonprofit workers and others to collect, wrap and distribute the gifts.

“Be a Santa to a Senior is another way to say ‘thank you’ to the many seniors who have made such important contributions to our community throughout the years,” Shaw said. “Helping a needy older adult can bring fulfillment to the giver as well as the receiver – it does make a difference.”

For more information about the program, visit or call (530) 885-3904.