‘Santa for Seniors’ brings Christmas to our greatest generation

Annual program brings holiday cheer to senior citizens

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Several East Texas organizations work to make sure every child has a Merry Christmas, but sometimes, our senior citizens get overlooked.

It’s the friendliest and most giving time of year, but for some, it can also be a depressing time of year, and our seniors can get lost in the shuffle.

As you’re gearing up for the busy time of year, Donna Anderson, a volunteer with the Meals on Wheels Ministry, said you may want to add a few more names to your Christmas list.

“It makes me feel warm inside to give that happiness to somebody," Anderson said. "Just that little gift makes somebody’s whole day great.”

Some senior citizens in our community may not receive a special gift over the holiday season, but you can change that with a quick trip to the store. “Just give whatever your heart allows you to give. I mean it doesn’t have to be big. It can be small. It can be a cash donation. It’s whatever you’re led to do.”

"Santa for Seniors" Brings Holiday cheer to Residents
"Santa for Seniors" Brings Holiday cheer to Residents

Kari Kietzer, the chief executive officer of Meals on Wheels Ministry, said the Santa for Seniors program makes deliveries to citizens around the holidays and added that many of them are home bound, unable to do their shopping, and/or on limited incomes.

“The additional bump at the holidays with Santa’s for Seniors is they’re getting a little present along with it. Listen, we need all kinds of lovely things: cozy items, house slippers, and robes,” Kietzer explained.

The idea behind this tradition is to allow the community to fulfill the Christmas wishes for seniors in East Texas who may otherwise go without.

“These are just the basic necessities of how do we keep our clients, some of whom don’t live in the nicest homes or the best insulated homes, how do we keep them warm this winter?” Kietzer said.

Organizers said many seniors rely on these gifts during the holiday season.

“If you can’t or don’t want to bring a gift, please make a cash donation," Kietzer said. "Help keep our seniors stay warm and cozy this winter and stay fed.”

Anderson said she loves playing Santa’s helpers, but the Christmas joy goes both ways.

“Sometimes it makes you want to cry, but it makes me feel real good to make somebody that happy and they appreciate it a whole lot," Anderson said.

COLLECTIONS:

Collection Dates: November 14 to December 14

Collection locations: Alpha Media Tyler office and Meals on Wheels Ministry office

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