Senior Gift Requests Expected to Increase This Holiday as Economic Slump Continues

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Be a Santa to a Senior®, the popular campaign that has delivered 1.2 million gifts to needy seniors throughout North America in the past six years, is gearing up again this holiday season during a time when seniors may need more of the bare necessities to survive. Program sponsors expect gift requests to be up this year as the economic downturn continues and Social Security benefits fail to keep pace with daily living expenses.

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Most people aren't aware that there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of seniors in every community who have no family and are alone

Be a Santa to a Senior®, the popular campaign that has delivered 1.2 million gifts to needy seniors throughout North America in the past six years, is gearing up again this holiday season during a time when seniors may need more of the bare necessities to survive.

The Home Instead Senior Care® office serving Lee and Collier Counties has joined Grace Works Unlimited and many local businesses to provide presents to seniors who otherwise might not receive a gift this holiday season.

Program sponsors expect gift requests to be up this year as the economic downturn continues and Social Security benefits fail to keep pace with daily living expenses.

“Most people aren’t aware that there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of seniors in every community who have no family and are alone,” said Sue Bidwell, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Lee and Collier Counties. “What’s more, this holiday season finds many older adults struggling to make ends meet.”

Prior to the holiday season, the participating local non-profit organizations will identify needy and isolated seniors in the community and provide those names to Home Instead Senior Care. Christmas trees, which will go up in local businesses (see below) on November 5th , feature ornaments with the first names only of the seniors and their respective gift requests. Holiday shoppers can pick up an ornament, buy items on the list and return them unwrapped to the store, along with the ornament attached. Volunteers will then collect, wrap and deliver the gifts to area seniors.

“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,” Bidwell said. “We hope to reach out to many with this gesture of holiday cheer and goodwill.”

For more information about the program, call 239.596.2030 or log on to http://www.beasantatoasenior.com or http://www.homeinstead.com/201.

Local tree & wreath locations include:

Calistoga Bakery Café: 7941 Airport-Pulling Road, Naples
Mel's Diner: 3650 US 41 N, Naples
Mel's Diner: 12035 Collier Blvd, Naples
Mel’s Diner: 28601 Trails Edge Blvd, Bonita Springs
Massage Envy: 2500 Vanderbuilt Beach Rd. #1102, Naples
Massage Envy: 8001 Plaza Del Lago Drive, Bonita Springs (Coconut Point)
Moe’s SW Grill: 1016 Immokalee Rd. #202, Naples
Moe’s SW Grill: 6434 Naples Blvd #402, Naples
Moe’s SW Grill: 23050 Via Villagio #125, Bonita Springs (Coconut Point)
Naples Flatbread: 6434 Naples Blvd., Suite 408
Patric’s Restaurant: 1485 Pine Ridge Rd #3, Naples
Red Brick Pizza: 6355 Naples Blvd #6, Naples
Starbucks Coffee: 960 Immokalee Rd, Naples
Starbucks coffee: 769 Fifth Ave S, Naples
Starbucks Coffee: 1 US 41 South, Naples
Starbucks Coffee: 2315 Vanderbilt Beach Rd 300 Naples
Sunshine Pharmacy: 80 Wilson Blvd, Naples
Sunshine Pharmacy: 5482 Rattlesnake Hammock Rd, Naples
Sunshine Pharmacy: 13020 Livingston Rd, Naples
Sunshine Pharmacy: 6350 Davis Blvd, Naples
Sunshine Pharmacy: 411 US 41 N, Naples
Sweetbay Grocery: 5926 Premier Way, Naples
Walgreen’s Pharmacy: 950 Immokalee Rd, Naples

Bonita Springs, Estero
Light House Bay Club at the Brooks, Lighthouse Bay Club
Massage Envy-Coconut, 8001 Plaza Del Lago Drive
Mel’s Diner, 28601 Trails Edge Blvd.
Men’s Wearhouse, 23050 Via Villagio, Suite 101
Moe’s Southwest Grill, 23050 Via Villagio, Suite 125
Royal Scoop, 15 8th Street, Unit D

Fort Myers
Bealls Outlet, 6900 Daniels Parkway and 15201 U.S. 41 N.
Bear Rock Cafe, 15245 U.S. 41 S.
Calusa Harbor, 2525 E. First St.
Mel’s Diner, 4820 U.S. 41 S.
Men’s Wearhouse, 9924 Gulf Coast Main St. #A110 and 4951 U.S. 41 S.
Moe’s Southwest Grill, 13711 U.S. 41 S. and 10021 Gulf Center Drive #230
Prudential Reality, 5001 Coconut Road

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Julie Swartz
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