Crow Wing Energized: Be A Santa To a Senior

Be A Santa To a Senior is a gift giving program that provides some joy and cheer this holiday season to seniors.

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There are some things that are just more special in 2020. We’ve thought long and hard about the safety of our Be A Santa To a Senior program this year, a program that has been in existence for 12 years. We know there is a risk, and many programs are on hold; however, our partners at Lakes Area Memory Awareness Advocates and us, at Home Instead, are passionate that this program is more essential now than ever. Seniors are isolated; they are being told to stay home and stay safe, the reality is, they are alone. Their families may not be able to visit and they certainly cannot have visitors from friends or community members; they are alone. Be A Santa To a Senior provides some joy and cheer this holiday season to these seniors.

Be A Santa To a Senior is a community service program that gives back to deserving seniors in the Brainerd lakes area. Businesses in the community are participating by hosting a Christmas tree with ornaments. Each ornament provides a senior’s name and a few gift ideas. Our experience with 12 years of the Be A Santa To a Senior program has taught us that the delivery and the gift may be the only visitor and gift the senior receives.

Community members generously pick a tag, buy and wrap the gift, and return to the site of the tree. Be A Santa To a Senior staff will pick the gift up and get it to Home Instead. Home Instead will organize the gifts for one big delivery date just before Christmas.

Decisions were hard to make during 2020, but we’ve made a few changes to help ensure the safety of our seniors and our staff. We are so thankful that members of our local Lakes Area Memory Awareness Advocates have volunteered to help manage the program this year. With their help, we will be able to offer tags on a virtual sight as well as on the community trees. We will have extra precautions in place for our delivery volunteers, including Be A Santa To A Senior masks (made by Tee Hive).

We are grateful and honored to continue the Be A Santa To a Senior program this year and make a difference in the lives of seniors in our community.


Please help us by filling tags and spreading the word about the Be A Santa To A Senior program. Tags are located on trees in Baxter/Brainerd at all three Caribous, Riverwood Bank/Stonehouse Coffee, The Senior Center, GuidePoint Pharmacy, Frandsen Bank, and Home Instead (new location at 13432 Elmwood Dr, Baxter). Also visit Frandsen Bank in Nisswa or Crosslake. Virtual tags are available at

This program has been so successful, receiving comments like “this is just what I needed” and it was just “perfect.” It always amazes us that just the right gift is given when there are only suggestions made on the ornaments and the suggestions are usually so very simple. Gift buyers add just the right touches and truly create “Christmas” for our seniors! The delivery people bring back many, many happy stories.

At Home Instead Senior Care, we are simply coordinating the program. It is our communities that make this successful. For more information you can call us at 218-824-0077 or email .

Thank you for your help and Happy Holidays!

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Contributed / Metro Newspaper Service

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