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Santee Schools Participate in Holiday Program Helping Local Struggling Seniors

Help out with a program that brings some holiday cheer to the 5.1 percent of Santee seniors 65 and older living in poverty.

A few helpful Santee schools and businesses are volunteering this holiday season with the "Be a Santa to a Senior" program, a campaign that delivers gifts to local needy seniors, and you can help out.

Santee schools Hill Creek Elementary and Cajon Park Elementary are working with Home Instead Senior Care network, the world’s largest provider of non-medical in-home care and companionship services for older adults, La Mesa Adult Enrichment Center, Keil’s San Carlos and Albertson’s Santee, Kaiser Hospital and St. Paul’s Pace Program to provide gifts and companionship to seniors who otherwise might not receive either.

“Seniors faced with medical bills and the high cost of living can find they have little left at the end of the year,” said Leslie Bojorquez, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving eastern San Diego County.

“That’s not the only issue, though. Personal needs may become magnified for so many living alone with no one to share their problems.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 5.1 percent of Santee seniors 65 and older are living in poverty. In six years this campaign has delivered 950 gifts to older adults that face poverty and loneliness.

Here’s how to help these struggling seniors: Pick up ornaments with the first names of seniors and their gift requests from Christmas trees, which will be up at La Mesa Adult Enrichment Center, 8450 La Mesa Boulevard, on Nov. 12 through Dec. 11. Buy items on the list and return them unwrapped to the store, along with the ornaments attached. A community gift-wrapping event, when hundreds of the presents will be wrapped, will be held Dec. 13 at 3 p.m. at the Home Instead Senior Care office in La Mesa.

For more information about the program, visit www.beasantatoasenior.com or call 619-460-6222.

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