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'Santa to a Senior' Program Helps Locals Struggling With Poverty and Loneliness

Home Instead Senior Care in Oakmont in teaming up with local organizations and retailers to bring holiday cheer to the elderly.

Several local senior citizens in the area will have a much brighter Christmas with your help!

The Oakmont office of the Home Instead Senior Care network, the world’s largest provider of non-medical in-home care and companionship services for older adults, is joining Riverview Community Action Corp. in Oakmont, Plum Creek Acres in Plum, Penn Hills Senior Service Center, Aspinwall Meals on Wheels, Walgreens and K-mart to provide gifts and companionship to seniors who otherwise might not receive either.

To help, all you have to do is pick up ornaments with the first names of seniors and their gift requests from Christmas trees—these trees are up at Walgreens at 324 Hulton Road in Oakmont, and 10707 Frankstown Road and 6201 Saltsburg Road in Penn Hills; K-Mart stores at 120 Mall Blvd. in Monroeville, and 880 Butler Street in Pittsburgh; and the Penn Hills Senior Service Center, 147 Jefferson Road—through Dec. 10.

Items on the list should be purchased and returned unwrapped to the store, along with the ornaments attached.

Home Instead Senior Care employees will have gift wrapping and gift bag decorating parties involving the Riverside Women’s Association, as well as local Girl Scout troops and art classes.

Last year, the organization distributed more than 500 gift bags to about 150 seniors. 

“Seniors faced with medical bills and the high cost of living can find they have little left at the end of the year,” said Kathi Lenart, co-owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office in Oakmont. “That’s not the only issue, though. Personal needs may become magnified for so many living alone with no one to share their problems.”

Her co-owner, Cheryl Stawovy, agreed.

“Helping a needy older adult can bring fulfillment to the giver as well as the receiver—it does make a difference,” she said.

For more information about the program, visit www.beasantatoasenior.com or call 412-517-8337.

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