JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – At Duck Donuts on Old St. Augustine Road, delicious goodies are served up every day. But something else is being served up as well: holiday cheer for our local seniors.
Duck Donuts is one of the many businesses participating in Home Instead’s “Be a Santa to a Senior” program. The program allows people in the community to fulfill personalized wish lists for seniors in our area.
Jennifer Hill with Home Instead says this time of year can be hard for some.
“These are also seniors that may not have people that visit them very often, that may not have family that live in town,” Hill said. “A lot of people in Florida are here and retired, and their families live out of state. So, this is a great opportunity to love on them.”
The concept is simple. Go to a participating business, find the tree inside, and select one of its paper bulb ornaments. Each ornament on the tree is dedicated to a local senior citizen, containing their personal wish list. Items typically up for request include simple things like body lotion, sweaters, toiletries, pajamas, etc. After purchasing the items on the wish list, bring your gift back to the business where you got it. Hill says these simple items go far for our local seniors.
“One of the most memorable stories is a senior who received stamps and thank-you notes,” Hill recalled. “She was so excited because she wanted to be able to write notes to her family. Without those tamps, she would not have been able to send a letter because she did not have enough money to communicate.”
This year’s goal is to collect gifts for 500 local seniors. Hill is confident the goal will be reached and possibly exceeded. She says this small gesture around the holidays means something far bigger.
“It’s my favorite time of year because seniors are often overlooked as having needs,” Hill said. “So, being able to go in and bless them with a present and see their faces and love that is just shown for a simple present, is absolutely amazing for us.”
Helping our local seniors feel the love this holiday season, today and every day.
“Be a Santa to a Senior” gifts will be collected through December 15th. To find businesses participating in the program, https://www.beasantatoasenior.com
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