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A Santa Claus for the young at heart

Program provides gifts to isolated seniors

— Requests change every year, but clothing is always popular, along with stamps and stationery, Hopkins said. Shoppers sometimes buy gift cards, Hopkins said, but in general, “We found that shoppers really enjoy getting specific items.”

Some seniors are in the program for multiple years, while new seniors may not even realize they’ve been included until they open their gift. Regardless of how a senior gets involved, the gifts are met with excitement and gratitude, Hopkins said.

The Be a Santa to a Senior program will unveil this year’s trees on Friday, Nov. 16. Ornaments will be hung on trees at three area Price Choppers: Ballston Avenue and Railroad Place in Saratoga Springs, and Route 50 in Wilton. Saratoga Hospital will also have a tree, along with the Capital District YMCA, Southern Saratoga Branch; and Queensbury Senior Citizens, Inc. Ornaments will feature seniors’ first names and their gift requests.

Shoppers who take off an ornament are asked to buy the requested items and return them unwrapped to the store with the ornament. Home Instead takes over from there, with staff members and others wrapping and distributing the gifts.

The program runs through Dec. 7. For more information, visit www.beasantatoasenior.com.

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