NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — Home Instead, a home healthcare company, is encouraging local residents to share the holiday spirit by giving gifts to older adults who may not have loved ones to celebrate with.

“A simple gift can bring such joy to older adults who may not have loved ones to celebrate with,” said Lee Norris, co-owner of the Home Instead office serving Craven, Carteret, Jones and Pamlico counties. “Through Be a Santa to a Senior, we can help them feel the holiday spirit.”

To participate, shoppers can look for Be a Santa to a Senior trees or displays at locations around the area. Ornaments featuring the name and desired gift of an older adult will be on display, and shoppers can buy the requested gift and return it unwrapped to the location with the ornament attached. Ornaments will be available from Nov. 21 to Dec. 12. The gifts will be delivered to local older adults in time for the holidays.

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

  • Captain Ratty’s, 202 Middle St., New Bern, NC 28560
  • Carolina Bagel and Deli, 3601 Trent Rd., Suite 7, New Bern, NC 28562
  • Carteret Community College, 3505 Arendell St., Morehead City, NC 28557
  • First Baptist Church, 409 Pollock St., New Bern, NC 28560
  • Home Instead, 3601 Trent Rd., Suite 4, New Bern, NC 28562
  • Home Instead, 316 Commerce Ave., Morehead City, NC 28557
  • Lowe’s Food, 2900 Arendell St., Stuie 2, Morehead City, NC 28557
  • Lowe’s Food, 321 W B Mclean Drive, Cape Carteret, NC 28584
  • Pamlico Pharmacy, 11326 N Carolina Highway 55 E, Grantsboro, NC 28529
  • Realo Pharmacy, 1301 Commerce Drive, New Bern, NC 28562
  • Realo Pharmacy, 137 Bridge Town Blvd., New Bern, NC 28560
  • Southern Pixie Salon & Spa, 2124 Trent Blvd., New Bern, NC 28560
  • Walmart, US Highway 70 W, Havelock, NC 28532
  • Walmart, NC Highway 24, Morehead City, NC 28557
  • Walmart, Highway 70, Newport, NC 28570
  • Zak’s of Mallardtown, 1553 10 Mile Fork Rd., Trenton, NC 28585

“This program is so much more than gift-giving – it’s about the special moments and joy shared between the older adults and the community around them,” Norris said. “There is nothing better than seeing the smile on an older adult’s face when they open their gift.”

Since the program’s inception in 2003, Be a Santa to a Senior has mobilized more than 65,000 volunteers, provided approximately 2.2 million gifts, and brightened the season for more than 750,000 deserving older adults nationwide.

Home Instead will host a wrapping party on Dec. 15 from 8 a.m. until all gifts are wrapped at First Baptist Church in New Bern. Everyone is welcome to attend.