Seniors’ Economic Struggles Continue This Holiday; Santa Program Provides Assistance

Updated on June 24, 2013

Be a Santa to a Senior®, the popular campaign that has delivered 1.5 million gifts to needy seniors throughout North America during the past seven years, again is helping older adults cope in tough economic times.

The area offices of the Home Instead Senior Care® network, the world’s largest provider of non-medical in-home care and companionship services for older adults, has partnered with area community organizations, senior service agencies, churches, health organizations and retailers to provide gifts and companionship to seniors who otherwise might not receive either this holiday season. The local offices together serve seniors and their families in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington and Westmoreland Counties.

“Many older adults continue to struggle in a down economy, particularly those who live alone with no family nearby to help provide resources,” said Lucy Novelly, one of the owners of the Home Instead Senior Care offices serving the Greater Pittsburgh area. Seniors have faced a trying year amid the threat of Social Security payment delays as part of the debt-ceiling debate. What’s more, seniors have lost almost one-third (32 percent) of their buying power since 2000, according to the Annual Survey of Senior Costs from The Senior Citizens League (TSCL).

That’s where Be a Santa to a Senior can help. Before the holiday season, the participating entities will identify needy and isolated seniors and provide those names to the local Home Instead Senior Care office. Christmas trees, which have begun going up in various locations from Nov. 1 through Dec. 17, will feature ornaments with the first names only of the seniors and their gift requests.

Holiday shoppers can pick up an ornament, buy items on the list and return them unwrapped to the store, along with the ornament attached. “We hope holiday shoppers will open their hearts to those seniors who have given so much to make our community a better place,” Novelly said. Some of the offices will be holding gift parties that are open to the public.

For more information about the program, visit For more information, or call 866-996-1087.

Tree Locations

Walgreens at 324 Hulton Road in Oakmont
Walgreens at 6401 Saltsburg Road in Penn Hills
Walgreens at 10707 Frankstown Road in Penn Hills
Kmart at 120 Mall Blvd. in Monroeville
Kmart 880 Butler Street in Shaler
Kmart on University Boulevard in Coraopolis
Big Lots at 750 Ohio River Blvd. in  Rochester
Target on Penn Avenue in East Liberty
Kmart at 1901 Lincoln Highway in North Versailles
Kmart Edgewood Town Center at 1775 South Braddock Ave. in Pittsburgh
Washington Crown Center at 1500 West Chestnut Street in Washington
Parkway Center Mall at 1165 McKinney Lane in Greentree
Carousel of Colors Gift Shop on Mt. Lebanon Blvd. in Castle Shannon
Home Instead Senior Care office building lobby at 2000 Oxford Drive in Bethel Park


Founded in 1994 in Omaha by Lori and Paul Hogan, the Home Instead Senior Care® network is the world’s largest provider of non-medical in-home care services for seniors, with more than 900 independently owned and operated franchises providing in excess of 45 million hours of care throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Switzerland, Germany, South Korea, Finland, Austria, Italy and Puerto Rico. Local Home Instead Senior Care offices employ more than 65,000 CAREGiversSM worldwide who provide basic support services – assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), personal care, medication reminders, meal preparation, light housekeeping, errands, incidental transportation and shopping – which enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. At Home Instead Senior Care, it’s relationship before task, while continuing to provide superior quality service that enhances the lives of seniors everywhere.

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