WAKE COUNTY, N.C. -- One group of people who often go over-looked during the holiday season is our senior citizen community.
But Thursday, a group of over 40 volunteers spent time at the Renaissance Center in Wake Forest wrapping gifts for seniors.
"It's not always about what you get at Christmas," said volunteer, Sue Clemente. "It's what you give, right?"
While many seniors enjoy living independently, the holidays can be very difficult for those who are unable to spend time with friends and family.
That can have a strong effect on mental and physical health, which is why the Home Instead Senior Care office in Wake County is holding its 'Be a Santa to a Senior' program.
Those participating in the program choose the names of seniors from paper ornaments attached to trees spread throughout the county. They buy a gift for the senior written on the ornament, return that gift to the store, and allow volunteers to pick-up, wrap, and deliver the gifts.
"Our ornaments flew off the trees faster than ever," said program organizer Nancy Foss. "Like, I couldn't keep up with the demand. Like, we actually ran out of ornaments for seniors before the normal time."
"We'll pass the gifts out to them on Christmas morning, almost like Santa came during the night," Linda White-Grier of the Raleigh Rehabilitation Center said. "So we'll have that for all of our residents."
The program intends to deliver the gifts to nearly 400 area seniors, making their holiday 'merry and bright'. Foss said they couldn't do it without such great community support.
"To the people at large who have adopted all of these seniors and gone way above and beyond, and to all the businesses and the offices, I can't say thank you enough for participating," Foss said.
The 'Be a Santa to a Senior' program was made possible this year by a group of 20 retailers, non-profits, and local businesses.