SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Seniors in need are getting exactly what they want for Christmas thanks people across the Bay Area participating in the Be A Santa To A Senior program.
The group Home Instead Senior Care teamed up with CVS Pharmacy to help seniors in need, who they can’t always reach day to day. This year, Hurricane Katrina refugee Diane Evans was one senior who felt the extra love.
Evans said at one point, she was living in a car and even lived on BART after she left New Orleans. She eventually ended up at the Curry Senior Center in San Francisco.
“If it wasn’t for Curry, I’d be out there on the streets with a lot of these old folks. They got old folks who have been out on the street for 10, 15 years,” Evans said.
Victoria Black, the director of care management for Home Instead, was an elf for the morning, delivering gifts that seniors like Evans truly need.
“Most seniors are really isolated,” Black said. “We don’t really think about the fact that they are sort of the forgotten part of our population, unfortunately.”
Trees decorated with ornaments filled out with seniors’ requests popped up at various CVS locations across San Francisco. Basic toiletries were on Evans’ list.
“That’s what we need. Baby wipes, toilet paper, toothpaste. Just simple things,” she said. “You know, Christmastime they want to give you a hat and gloves. You can only have so many hats and gloves.”
“Just getting toilet paper of toothpaste, things we kind of take for granted that we don’t even realize cost money and are hard to come by,” Black said. “It’s just such a joy to see that that’s what’s bringing them so much happiness at this time.”
It’s easy for people to be a part of the Be A Santa To A Senior program. And Evans had something for future participants to keep in mind:
“Earrings are nice, but the soap to clean my ears means more.”
In the 15 years since the program has been around, they estimate that more than two million gifts have been handed out to about 750,000 people.