Be a Santa to a Senior program brightens seniors’ holidays

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Did you know that 28 percent of people 65 or older live alone, according to AARP? Each year, these seniors have fewer family members and friends to provide company and care to them, which often leads to social isolation. The holidays can be especially hard for those who are living independently and may feel lonely.

That’s why the Home Instead Senior Care® Office serving San Bernardino County is inviting the community to come together to provide gifts and holiday cheer to seniors who may be isolated from friends or family this holiday season through its Be a Santa to a Senior® program. This is the program’s 15th year. Last year, more than 1,400 local seniors received over 6,000 gifts.

Be a Santa to a Senior helps bring comfort and a smile to many seniors. It shows them that people care about them and see them as an important part of the community,” said Geneva Labate, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving San Bernardino County. “Social isolation is a concern among seniors and the holidays often intensify feelings of distance and loneliness. Receiving an unexpected gift makes a big difference in their lives.”

Be a Santa to a Senior is a true community program, getting generous support from businesses, nonprofit organizations, retailers, numerous volunteers and members of the community. The Redlands Home Instead Senior Care office has partnered with several local area retailers and nonprofit partners to help with gift collection and distribution.

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It’s easy to help out. Go to one of the participating locations listed below and look for the Be a Santa to a Senior tree on display from Monday, November 12 to Monday, December 17. Each tree will be decorated with ornaments featuring seniors’ first names and their desired gifts. Holiday shoppers can choose an ornament, buy the requested gift and return it to the tree location with the ornament attached. There’s no need to worry about wrapping — community volunteers and program partners will wrap and deliver the gifts to local seniors in time for the holidays.

“We’re always excited to see how much Be a Santa to a Senior boosts seniors’ spirits during the holiday season,” said Labate.  “And we are grateful to be a part of a community that comes together to make this happen.”

Be a Santa to a Senior trees can be found at the following locations:

• University of Redlands, 1200 E Colton Avenue, Redlands, CA 923

  • Jose’s Mexican Restaurant, 33527 Yucaipa Blvd., Yucaipa, CA
  • Arrowhead Aftercare, 27007 W. 5th St., Highland, CA
  • The UPS Store, 25745 Barton Road, Loma Linda, CA
  • Beaver Medical Group, 2 W. Fern Ave., Redlands, CA
  • Beaver Advantage Health Center, 1600 E. Citrus Ave., Redlands, CA
  • Redlands Elk Lodge, 663 New York St., Redlands, CA
  • Highland Care Center of Redlands, 700 E. Highland Ave., Redlands, CA
  • Beaver Medical Group, 33758 Yucaipa Blvd., Yucaipa, CA
  • Cotton Gin Fabric Store, 411 E. State St., Redlands, CA
  • Home Instead Senior Care, 461 Tennessee St. Suite O, Redlands, CA
  • Redlands Chiropractic, 620 Alabama St., Redlands, CA
  • Redlands Sewing Center, 422 E. State St., Redlands, CA
  • Golden Oaks Senior Living and Retirement Community, 33398 Oak Glen Road, Yucaipa, CA
  • Jake’s Bistro and Brew, 12170 4th St., Yucaipa, CA
  • Weaver-Hughes Mortuary, 33629 Yucaipa Blvd., Yucaipa, CA
  • Wildwood Canyon Villa, 22951 Colorado St., Yucaipa, CA
  • Blossom Grove Alzheimer’s Special Care, 11116 New Jersey St., Redlands, CA
  • Jose’s Mexican Restaurant, 950 S. E. St., San Bernardino, CA
  • San Bernardino Elks Lodge #836, 2055 Elks Drive, San Bernardino, CA
  • Somerford Place, 1319 Brookside Ave., Redlands, CA
  • Yucaipa Senior Center, 12202 First St., Yucaipa, CA
  • InnovAge PACE, 410 E. Parkcenter Circle, San Bernardino, CA
  • Alta Vista Credit Union, 1425 W. Lugonia Ave., Redlands, CA
  • Dream Dinners, 1404 Industrial Park Ave., Redlands, CA
  • Linda Valley Assisted Living, 25393 Cole St., Loma Linda, Ca.
  • Jose’s Mexican Restaurant, 2094 W. Redlands Blvd., Redlands, CA
  • Mi Cocina Mexican Restaurant, 27961 Highland Ave., Highland, CA
  • Mission Commons Gracious Retirement Living, 10 Terracina Blvd., Redlands, CA
  • The Villas at San Bernardino, 2985 N. G St., San Bernardino, CA
  • Martha Green’s Eating Room, 107 E. Citrus Ave., Redlands, CA
  • Carlson Chiropractic, 529 Cajon St., Redlands, CA
  • La Loma Federal Credit Union, 26151 Mayberry St., Loma Linda, CA
  • Beaver Medical Group, 1690 Barton Road., Redlands, CA
  • Beaver Medical Group, 7000 Boulder Avenue, Highland, CA

For more information about the program, visit or call (909)-370-0343.

For more information about how you can help seniors in isolation in your community, visit

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