Home Instead’s Be a Santa to a Senior Program finds new ways to spread cheer


Program coordinators evaluated the important holiday program and made adjustments with the safety of donors, seniors and volunteers in mind. With Knoxville area seniors more isolated than ever because of concerns due to the virus, this year, Home Instead will collect gifts for area seniors through both online shopping through Amazon and at trees in local businesses and retailers.


“The Be a Santa to a Senior program brings so much joy to seniors in our community,” said Amy Hull, owner of the Knoxville Home Instead office. “Seniors are especially at risk for the feelings of isolation that we’ve all felt at some point during the pandemic, and a simple gift can show them that they have been thought of, which is more important this year than ever.”


Be a Santa to a Senior relies on the generous support of the Knoxville community and volunteers, as well as area businesses, nonprofit organizations, and retailers. This year Home Instead has partnered with Longs Drug, Westmoreland Health & Rehabilitation and Kindred at Home. The Pinnacle at Turkey Creek will be co-sponsoring a kickoff event to begin collecting gifts.


It’s easy to help. Members of the community can visit one of the participating locations listed below and look for the Be a Santa to a Senior tree on display from Nov. 10 to Dec. 23. Each tree will be decorated with ornaments featuring seniors’ first names and gift suggestions. Holiday shoppers can choose an ornament, buy the requested gift and return it unwrapped to the store with the ornament attached.


In addition, members of the community can visit BeASantatoaSenior.com and enter their zip code to view Wish

Lists for local seniors on Amazon Business through Dec 23. A personalized greeting can be included with the gift which will be shipped to Home Instead where it will be safely delivered to the senior.


“We need the community’s help more than ever to make sure seniors feel connected this year,” said Hull. “This year we knew we had to find a way to spread holiday cheer to seniors, and we are grateful for the community’s participation.”


Since the program’s creation in 2003, Be a Santa to a Senior® has provided approximately 2.1 million gifts and with the help of more than 75,000 volunteers, brightened the season for more than 750,000 deserving seniors nationwide. With adjustments, Home Instead will be able to continue the annual gift-giving program while following social distancing and safety precautions during COVID-19.


Be a Santa to a Senior trees can be found at the following locations:

  • Long’s Drugs 4604 Kingston Pike Knoxville, TN 37919
  • The Pinnacle at Turkey Creek 11251 Parkside Dr. Knoxville, TN 37934

For more information about the program, visit BeaSantatoaSenior.com or call 865-523-1300.


For ideas and inspiration around helping seniors in your community, visit ReadytoCare.com.