Holiday program helps struggling senior citizens

With so many older adults living alone and in poverty, some area seniors in the northern metropolitan suburbs will struggle to make ends meet this holiday season.

That’s why the area Home Instead Senior Care® office has joined with retailers and community organizations to make sure isolated seniors, seniors who might have experienced a loss of a loved one, are recovering from an illness, experiencing financial difficulty or simply need some holiday cheer, will receive gifts and companionship through the “Be a Santa to a Senior®program.

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

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nine percent of U.S. seniors 65 and older are living in poverty and 27 percent are widowed.

With the support of Blaine Senior Center, Washington County Community Services, ACCAP, Community Thread, Coon Rapids Senior Center, East Central Senior Resource Center, Canvas Health, CommonBond Communities and Lutheran Social Service, area retailers, area non-profits, volunteers and members of the community, the local Home Instead Senior Care office will collect and distribute gifts to seniors who might otherwise spend the holiday alone.

The “Be a Santa to a Senior” program kicks off Nov. 12 and runa through Dec. 12. Christmas trees will go up in various retail locations and feature ornaments with the first names of the seniors and their respective gift requests.

Holiday shoppers are asked to pick up an ornament off special “Be a Santa to a Senior” Christmas trees, buy items on the list and return them unwrapped to the store, along with the ornament attached. The Home Instead Senior Care office will then enlist the volunteer help of its staff, senior-care business associates, non-profit workers and others to collect, wrap and distribute the gifts.

“Be a Santa to a Senior is another way to say ‘thank you’ to the many seniors who have made such important contributions to our community throughout the years,” Arnold said. “Helping a needy older adult can bring fulfillment to the giver as well as the receiver – it does make a difference,” he added.

For more information about the program, visit or call 763-792-0041.


Tree Locations:


12880 Elm Creek Blvd. N

Maple Grove, MN

Cub Foods

12595 Central Avenue NE

Blaine, MN

Cub Foods

1801 Market Drive

Stillwater, MN

Embroidery & Ink

118 West Main Street

Isanti, MN


3455 Vicksburg Lane

Plymouth, MN


5630 Saint Croix Trail

North Branch, MN