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Give a gift to an elder in need this holiday season

Senior programs across the Quad Cities are accepting gift donations for underserved care home residents. Here's how you can help an elder in need.

BETTENDORF, Iowa — Home Instead Senior Care's annual "Be a Santa to a Senior" program has returned for the 2021 holiday season.

The program was designed to give gifts to seniors who may otherwise not get one this year. Sponsors can pick a Christmas bulb that represents a senior resident from the Home Instead Christmas tree in either Moline and Bettendorf, and then, they can choose an item to gift from that senior's wish list.

As of Tuesday, Dec. 14, all of the bulbs have been assigned a sponsor, meaning all registered seniors are receiving a gift. 

"There's still other ways that people can contribute," Home Instead Senior Care Quad Cities owner Ada Christopher said. "First, we have a Home Instead Foundation, which people can make a financial donation on there … We use that money to purchase other other items that we can have as extras to give away to underserved seniors."

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Gift donations are still being accepted at Home Instead and other QC-based senior-assistance programs, such as CASI's Secret Santa Program. Hats, gloves and other winter necessities are on the top of many of the seniors' lists.

"Things they need are very essential everyday things that sometimes we take for granted," Christopher said. "They'll last for gloves, scarves, shampoo, toiletries, very, very inexpensive things that we can all contribute."

The deadline to donate to the Christmas drive is Friday, Dec. 17. 

For more information about the nationwide campaign, visit the Be a Santa to a Senior website.