Be a Santa to a Senior program

LYNCHBURG, VA – Nov. 18, 2020 At a time when it may be more important than ever, Home Instead’s® seasonal favorite Be A Santa to a Senior returns stronger than ever with new options for community participation.

Now in its 17th year, program coordinators evaluated the important holiday program and made adjustments with the safety of donors, seniors and volunteers in mind. With Lynchburg seniors more isolated than ever because of concerns due to the virus, this year, Home Instead will collect and distribute gifts for area seniors through online shopping through a special Amazon Business store only this year. Ornaments on trees in local businesses and retailers will share the link to Wish Lists for Lynchburg seniors on Amazon Business. No gifts will be collected locally due to COVID concerns.

“The Be a Santa to a Senior program brings so much joy to seniors in our community,” said Betsy Head, owner of the Lynchburg Home Instead office. “Seniors are especially at risk for the feelings of isolation that we’ve all felt at some point during the pandemic, and a simple gift can show them that they have been thought of, which is more important this year than ever.”

Be a Santa to a Senior relies on the generous support of the Lynchburg community and volunteers, as well as area businesses, nonprofit organizations, and retailers. This year Home Instead has partnered with several agencies to identify seniors, including Adult Care Center of Central VA, Campbell County DSS, Guggenheimer Health and Rehab, Clearbrook Apartments, Central VA Alliance for Community Living (CVACL), Fairmont Crossing Apartments, Lynchburg DSS, McGurk House, Meals on Wheels of Lynchburg, Amherst County DSS, Appomattox Health and Rehab, Hillcrest Apartments, John Early Apartments, Centra Health, and Bedford County DSS.

It’s easy to help. Members of the community may simply visit, and enter their zip code to view Wish Lists and purchase gift requests for local seniors on Amazon Business through Dec. 18. A personalized greeting can be included with the gif.  It will then be shipped directly to the senior.

Alternately, holiday shoppers can visit one of the participating locations listed below and look for the Be a Santa to a Senior tree on display from Nov. 23 – Dec. 18. Ornaments with instructions about this year’s program can be found on the tree, directing shoppers to visit to select a Wish List. Shoppers can purchase one or all of the requested gifts online through the Amazon Business store, select the senior’s name in the shipping address options and, as above, the gift will be sent directly to the senior. Address information will not be visible to protect the privacy of the gift recipient.

“We need the community’s help more than ever to make sure seniors feel connected this year,” said Head. “This year we knew we had to find a way to spread holiday cheer to seniors, and we are grateful for the community’s participation.” 

Since the program’s creation in 2003, Be a Santa to a Senior® has provided approximately 2.1 million gifts and with the help of more than 75,000 volunteers, brightened the season for more than 750,000 deserving seniors nationwide. With adjustments, Home Instead will be able to continue the annual gift-giving program while following social distancing and safety precautions during COVID-19.

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

  • Olive Garden Wards Rd - 4038 Wards Rd, Lynchburg, VA 24502
  • Bedford Area YMCA - 1111 Turnpike Rd, Bedford, VA 24523
  • Bedford Central Library - 321 N Bridge St, Bedford, VA 24523
  • Big Island Library - 1111 Schooldays Rd, Big Island, VA 24526
  • Montvale Library - 11575 W Lynchburg Salem Turnpike, Montvale, VA 24122
  • Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce - Bridgewater Plaza, 16430 Booker T Washington Hwy #2, Moneta, VA 24121
  • Campbell County Public Library - 684 Village Hwy, Rustburg, VA 24588
  • Timbrook Library - 18891 Leesville Rd, Lynchburg, VA 24501
  • Forest Library - 15583 Forest Rd, Forest, VA 24551
  • Applebees Altavista - 169 Clarion Rd, Altavista, VA 24517
  • Patrick Henry Memorial Library -  204 Lynchburg Ave, Brookneal, VA 24528
  • Stewartsville Library - 45 Cascade Dr, Vinton, VA 24179
  • Templeton Senior Center - 225 Wiggington Rd, Lynchburg, VA 24502
  • La Villa Italian Restaurant -  8109 Timberlake Rd, Lynchburg, VA 24502