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Local program brightens holidays for area seniors

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This season, holiday shoppers can give cheer to area seniors by participating in the Be a Santa to a Senior program.

The program – run by the local Home Instead Senior Care office in partnership with the senior centers in Fargo and Moorhead, Sunmart, volunteers and members of the community – helps ensure isolated seniors receive gifts and companionship during the holidays. This can be a difficult time, especially those who live alone or have lost spouses and loved ones.

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An estimated 27 percent of people 65 and older (10.8 million people) are widowed, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Further, the Administration on Aging reports about 28 percent (11.8 million) non-institutionalized people 65 and older live alone.

Retailers participating in Be a Santa to a Senior will display Christmas trees from Nov. 13 to Dec. 11 that feature ornaments with seniors’ first names and their gift requests. Holiday shoppers can pick an ornament from these trees, buy the items listed and return them unwrapped to the store, with the ornament attached.

Be a Santa to a Senior trees will be located at: Sunmart in Moorhead, 2605 8th St. S.; Sunmart in Fargo, 3175 25th St. S.; and Sunmart in West Fargo, 1100 13th Ave. E.

The local Home Instead Senior Care office will enlist volunteers from its staff, senior-care business associates, non-profit workers and others to collect, wrap and distribute the gifts to local seniors who might otherwise spend the holiday alone.

For more information about the program, visit BeaSantatoaSenior.com or call 701-478-1010.

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