The holidays can be challenging for many people, including seniors. But a program now in its 20th year, called Santa for Seniors, is doing what it can to help.
“For the past few years, I haven’t seen as many people as there are this year and I think it’s amazing. We couldn’t find a spot to wrap,” said volunteer Carlie Holm. “So it’s been great this year.”
Holm has been volunteering to wrap gifts for the program since she was 10.
“Well, it definitely changed from just coming to wrap presents to going out and actually delivering them to our community and the seniors that we help. And it’s definitely been a joyful experience getting to see everybody come together and wrap presents for everybody,” Holm said.
Wednesday night was the 20th annual wrapping party for the Santa for Seniors program.
“Members of our community just go pick a tag, purchase the items, return them to the tree and that’s when we bring them here to get wrapped by all of these amazing volunteers,” said Gloria Vloedman with Santa for Seniors.
Vloedman says this year brought 150 volunteers to help wrap presents for just a thousand young, at-heart locals who could use a holiday boost.
“They are under-served seniors that receive presents for this program, and so that means they are isolated, that they are low income, and maybe they just don’t have family,” Vloedman said. “They’re not able to get out.”
The program has grown a lot in the last 20 years, but the program still could use more volunteers to create another Christmas miracle.
“I love to go and see the seniors, especially in La Pine, where I’m from,” said Holm. “We go, and we deliver, and it’s just something that makes you feel warm and good inside.”