NAPPANEE — Senior citizens will receive gifts, treats and visits during the Christmas holiday thanks to the generosity of grocery shoppers taking part in the Santa for Seniors program.
The program ensures that seniors (60 and older) who are in nursing homes, who have low incomes, or who just may be alone at Christmas, will all receive a couple of Christmas gifts and a visit from one of Santa’s “elves”.
Elder Haus Senior Center Director Connie Fink has partnered with the Nappanee Martin’s Supermarket to provide those gifts. Fink said she takes requests from seniors at the Elder Haus, and those who live at Main Street Manor senior living apartments and Northwood Circle. She said seniors request food items, including nuts or candy — things they wouldn’t necessarily buy for themselves. But more than the gift, it’s just being remembered that means the most to the seniors, Fink said.
Fink said Ruth Clouse at the Nappanee Martin’s Supermarket has been in charge of the program and has worked very hard for years to ensure the success of Santa for Seniors.
Clouse said all Martin’s Supermarkets participate in this program but have different organizations they work with in their respective communities. There is a tree placed in the floral department at the Nappanee location with an ornament and a tag that has the first name of the recipient and an item they’d like to have.
“We ask our customers to take the tag, purchase the item and bring it to the cashier. The bagger will bring the items to my team and we wrap all the gifts and deliver them to the individual personally,” Clouse explained.
She said aside from the items that Fink mentioned, they receive requests for hand lotions, food, soaps and gift cards. They also accept donations of items and monetary donations.