Be Santa to a senior

— She didn’t think anyone would come through with the bed because of the cost, so she put one big ornament on every tree at each tree site.

“We got a call from a woman who said the bed was taken care of. … She got sheets, comforter, pillows and wanted to set it up for him,” said Hopkins.

Once all the gifts are collected, the Honor Society at Saratoga Springs High School wraps the presents and a volunteer delivers them to the different agencies.

“We’ve had thank you letters pour in like crazy. For some people, it’s the only thing they get all year-round,” said Hopkins. “Some people are really in need and ask for things not covered by food stamps.”

Even with the poor economy, Hopkins said the community continues to give.

“We really felt the impact in our community last year with the economy but the first gift I picked up was a $200 gift certificate,” said Hopkins. “People were trying to tighten their belts and were the most generous they’ve ever been. Maybe in tough times they realize people have it even tougher than them.

There are about 300 Home Instead Senior Care franchises across the country that challenge their communities to “Be a Santa to a Senior” each year, and 1.5 million gifts have been delivered throughout North America through the campaign.

Hopkins said the program is an important one to run each year.

“We take care of seniors so obviously seniors are near and dear to our hearts,” said Hopkins. “Our seniors generally are not needy and lonely since most are private pay clients but we wanted to be able to give back.”

Home Instead Senior Care provides non-medical in-home care services for seniors.

Christmas trees will be displayed from Friday, Nov. 18, through Dec. 9. Tree locations in Saratoga will be the Price Chopper on Ballston Avenue in Saratoga Springs, Price Chopper at Church Street and Railroad Place in Saratoga Springs, Price Chopper on Route 50 in Wilton, Saratoga Hospital in the cafeteria, The Greater Glens Falls Senior Citizens Center, Inc., Queensbury Senior Citizens, Inc. and Capital District YMCA Southern Saratoga Branch in Clifton Park. For more information about the campaign visit www.beasantatoasenior.com.

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