“Be A Santa To A Senior” Program Kicks Off In Brainerd
The holidays can be tough for some local seniors who cannot see their loved ones this season. But thanks to the generosity of the Brainerd Lakes community members, their holidays just got a little brighter.
“It’s very, very simple and it just pays back a thousand fold,” said Home Instead Care Executive Director Deb Cranny.
It’s a giving tree that focuses on seniors.
“Seniors that possibly don’t get a visitor during the holiday season and probably don’t get any gifts during the holiday season,” Cranny said.
Names of seniors are submitted by local non-profits, service organizations and church groups that together have recognized nearly 300 seniors who will have an extra special holiday.
“The name is Gail and the gift ideas are grocery card, candy and socks,” said Black Bear Manager Deb Pieri as she read one of the tags on the tree.
“Gift ideas are only suggestions, you can use your creativity on what you think an isolated senior might want,” Cranny said.
There are nine different tree locations throughout the Brainerd Lakes Area, and all you have to do is find a tree, grab a bulb and buy a gift.
“Customers come in and they look for it every year that come in and ask when is the tree going up,” Pieri said.
Once the tags are taken, the gifts can be brought back to the same location either wrapped or unwrapped before December 13th.
“Lotions, shampoos, fuzzy slippers, socks, blankets and things like that, that are very easy for the community to buy,” Cranny said.
Then, volunteers will distribute the gifts on December 20th.
“The person delivered it and she literally started crying, threw off the lap blanket she had on her lap because it wasn’t in very good shape and put the new blanket on, and just, of course, there were hugs and that sort of thing,” Cranny said.
Home Instead hopes to hear many similar stories after the area’s eighth annual Be a Santa to a Senior program.
Here is a list of all of the locations:
- Home Instead Senior Care, 108 S 6th St., Suite 3, Brainerd, MN 56401
- Guide Point Pharmacy, 108 S 6th St., Suite 1, Brainerd, MN 56401
- Guide Point Pharmacy, 20 W Main St., Crosby, MN 56441
- Crow Wing County Social Services, 204 Laurel St., Brainerd, MN 56401
- Black Bear Lodge and Saloon, 14819 Edgewood Dr., Baxter, MN 56425
- Caribou Coffee-East Brainerd Mall Location, 425 8th Ave. NE, Brainerd, MN 56401
- Caribou Coffee, 15175 Edgewood Dr., Baxter, MN 56425
- The Brainerd Center, 803 Kingwood St., Brainerd, MN 56401
- Edward Jones, Greg Bennett Office, 406 Washington St. W., Suite 3, Brainerd, MN 56401