Be a Santa to a Senior this Holiday Season - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Be a Santa to a Senior this Holiday Season

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MISSOULA -

Little Noah Shawgo grabbed an ornament off the "Wish Tree" at Home Instead Senior Care in Missoula. His parents are trying to teach him that part of the Christmas spirit is the joy of giving, so they are Adopting-A-Senior this holiday season.

"Part of our church mission statement is loving the city, and this is a tangible way that we can actually reach out to the community and help someone in need, or someone who is not as fortunate as others," Greg Shawgo, who is Noah's father, said.

For the second year in a row, Home Instead Senior Care is reaching out to community members to Adopt-A-Senior. Individuals can pick an ornament off the "Wish Tree" at the Southgate Mall, purchase the items on a senior's "Wish List" and spread holiday cheer to a senior, who is lonely or in need.

"Seniors sometimes may be forgotten, and so this is a great way for seniors, who are without family or may not be receiving gifts this holiday season, well, it brings some joy into their world and the magic of Christmas," Denise Krueger, with Home Instead Senior Care, added.

Home Instead Senior Care will then collect, wrap, and deliver the gifts to seniors in Missoula and Ravallli counties.

"When you look at the group and the percentages for growth for the upcoming future for seniors in our area, it's huge, it's overwhelming," Krueger said. "I think that includes seniors, who are able to provide for themselves and have family just as much as it includes those seniors, who are without loved ones or family or friends and struggle to make ends meet."

Last year, 35 seniors received gifts of lap blankets, robes or slippers, as well as coffee, crossword puzzles, or books, which were all placed in gift bags decorated by local school children.

Krueger said that she hopes to spread the Christmas magic to roughly 60 seniors this year.

"The thing about the gifts for seniors that we were really drawn to is that is was actual needs like blankets, slippers, mittens, food items, things they actually need to live," Shawgo added. "That was a big plus to actually helping out the seniors."

He said that he and his growing family will continue to Adopt-A-Senior year-after-year.

"It's amazing the feeling you get inside when you know that you've made someone's holidays just even a little bit better."

If you would like to Adopt-A-Senior this holiday season, you can do so until Wednesday, December 18th and remember to return your gift, unwrapped, to the "Wish Tree" at the Southgate Mall in Missoula. For more information, call Home Instead Senior Care at: (406)523-9909.

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