Local senior citizens to receive special gifts this Christmas - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Local senior citizens to receive special gifts this Christmas


Eau Claire (WQOW) - The Christmas music is ringing, lights are being strung, and you're probably almost finished with that wish list. This holiday season three area senior living facilities will be receiving some comfort and joy thanks to a partnership with an Eau Claire business.

This Christmas, some seniors will be getting their wish list answered. Home Instead Senior Care teamed up with Shopko to shine some light on some deserving seniors.

"We started the program here, in the Chippewa Valley about 15 years ago, but it's done nationwide and actually internationally," said Patty Norton, Home Instead Senior Care Owner.

About 300 senior citizens in the Chippewa Valley will be participating in the program called, "Be a Santa to a Senior".

"Over the years, we have collected over 1.2 million gifts, for over 700,000 seniors nationwide. Here in the Chippewa Valley, we have collected thousands of gifts," Norton said.

Saint Francis Apartments is one of the three area senior living facilities participating in this program.

"I didn't quite understand what this was, and so I took it down to Cathy and she said, 'No you're getting the gift'. So I chose a jigsaw puzzle because my daughter, who died in 2007, and I used to always put together a puzzle every time after Christmas...so I thought that would be special," said Elaine Lonning, a resident at Saint Francis Apartments.

"I think, holidays, Christmas especially, to be recognized by people is the most wonderful thing there is," Lonning said.

"Although a lot of us can afford our own things, but it's the part that these people are thinking of others," said Vivian Gorell, also a resident.

"They really do feel special, and they do feel not forgotten. and there are people out there who do wan to make their holiday and their Christmas be joyous as well," said Cathy Werner, St. Francis Apartments Manager.

Ornaments with the senior citizens' wish lists will go up on a Christmas tree and be on display at Shopko on Clairemont Avenue starting this Monday. Shoppers can take an ornament and shop for a senior and the gifts will be delivered to the facilities on Dec. 16.

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