Be a Santa to a Senior program helps older folks at Christmas

6:24 PM, Nov 14, 2011   |    comments
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Senior citizens who are needy or lonely will be a little less so this Christmas thanks to a program in Hamblen, Sevier, Jefferson, Grainger, and Cocke counties.

"We've been celebrating our 100th Anniversary all year," Tinsley-Bible Drugs General Manager Lynn Hixson said.

Tinsley-Bible Drugs is a landmark in Dandridge.

The historic store is taking a modern approach to promote a program for seniors.

"We've got it on our facebook page to do this. It's on our website. And with the open house we're having on the 18th we're really going to promote the tree and try to get people to take a name," Hixson said.

It's called 'Be a Santa to a Senior,' a program Home Instead Senior Care organizes in five East Tennessee counties.

"A lot of times during Christmas you see programs for children, you see programs for families, but we didn't see programs for seniors," Christina O'Brien with Home Instead Senior Care said.

It's easy to 'Be a Santa to a Senior.' Just select an ornament off a tree in a participating store, buy the requested gifts, then bring them back to the store by the end of the month.

"All of these wish lists are going to be fulfilled this year," O'Brien said.

Dandridge Senior Services Director Joan Bolden said, "You'll notice on the cards they don't ask for extravagant items. They ask for hand lotion, stamps, stationery, everyday items we take for granted."

In Jefferson County, senior center staff submit names for the program.

They are people who may be facing financial hard times or have no family living nearby, or both.

"You'll receive more than you give knowing that you've made a senior happy," Bolden said.

More than a dozen stores in five counties have 'Be a Santa to a Senior' displays.

"This year we're expecting about 300 seniors are going to have Christmas because of the generosity of East Tennesseans," O'Brien said.

Seniors are grateful for the gifts and for the volunteers who deliver them.

"So many of our seniors are lonely in every county and they love that human contact and that's as important as the gifts," Bolden said.

Lynn Hixson said, "It makes you want to help out and adopt them all."

It's a chance to 'Be a Santa to a Senior.'

Hamblen County:
In Morristown at all Walgreens stores
251 S. Cumberland
1959 W. Andrew Johnson Hwy.
2103 E. Andrew Johnson Hwy.
Justin's Restaurant 1825 W. Andrew Johnson Hwy.
Crescent Center Drugs 228 N. Fairmont Ave.

Sevier County:
In Pigeon Forge at Walgreens at 3071 Parkway
In Sevierville at Lee's Total Health Pharmacy stores
1024 Middle Creek Road
725 Parkway

Jefferson County:
In Dandridge at JeffCo Drug Center 127 W. Meeting Street
In Dandridge at Tinsley-Bible Drug 1224 Gay Street
In White Pine at Sanitary Drug Company 1627 Main Street

Cocke County:
In Newport at Walgreens 102 E. Broadway

Grainger County:
In Bean Station at Down Home Pharmacy/Minnis Drugs 1034 Main Street
In Rutledge at Smith Drug 8120 Rutledge Pike

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