Community brings holiday cheer to seniors in need

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Updated: 11/16/2012 11:31 pm

RENO, Nev. (KRNV & Northern Nevadans are coming together to bring some Christmas cheer to our local seniors in need.

The presents these seniors are asking for range from gift cards, blankets to jackets.

Some are even asking for food this year.

The "Be a Santa to a Senior Program" through Home Instead Senior Care gives the community a chance to help out our seniors in need.

"Just so they know somebody cares and they're not alone. It's a great feeling," Sparks resident Sharon Long says.

News 4 got to join Long as she shopped for three seniors.

She was able to pick the names from a tree on display in Wal-Mart.

Each ornament has a senior's name and a couple of gifts they would like.

"Many of them have no one and so for them Christmas would just be another day they would be forgotten," Program Director for "Be a Santa to a Senior" Sandi Tenboer says.

The senior population in northern Nevada is larger than the national average and it's only growing.

Many seniors are financially challenged and live on fixed incomes.

"Many times they come in with things such as toilet paper, tooth paste, body wash, things you and I would not consider a gift and yet this is what they need,"

Tenboer says.

That's what Sharon shopped for a blanket, pajamas, and slippers. Simple gifts they need and want.

All gifts are delivered by Christmas day.

Last year they were able to bring Christmas to just more than 1,600 seniors. This year they hope to help more than 2,000 and everyone will receive a gift.

"Just think about how they're going to feel when they're acknowledged on Christmas by someone they don't even know just it will melt your heart," Long says.

The public can help by going to any Wal-Mart Vision center around Reno, Sparks and Carson City that's where they can find the tree to pick out a senior's name on an ornament and drop off their gift.

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