‘Santa for Seniors’ helps elderly Pitt Co. residents meet holiday needs

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Many people are looking for ways to give back this holiday season, and the Pitt County Council on Aging is hoping Santa and the community will remember seniors when they do.

“Many of our older adults are alone, isolated, and other families are enjoying their families,” said Rich Zeck, the council’s executive director. “So, older adults are forgotten during the time.”

But Walgreens and the Pitt County Council on Aging are hoping the community will rally around the seniors.

“Santa for Seniors” is hosted in six Walgreens locations across the county this Christmas. Seniors in need write gift requests on ornaments hanging on trees in Walgreens stores. Customers can then buy the needed items for the seniors. Zeck said the individuals who request items are struggling to get by, and the holidays are even more difficult for them.

“During Christmas time, that’s a time where many of them struggle,” Zeck said. “So partnering with Walgreens to do the Christmas tree is a great opportunity for us to directly connect with people who may not have such a merry Christmas.”

With a variety of ways to give this Christmas, the center is hoping some shoppers will find it in their hearts to help fill a hole left by loss.

“Older adults have lost loved ones and when you’ve been married for 40 years, 50 years and you lose a significant other, there is a huge hole there,” said Zeck. “When the holidays come around, particularly Christmas; it’s very devastating.”

The gifts requested are simple. From socks and tooth brushes to gift cards to local grocery stores, Zeck said the seniors simply want the essentials.

“A personal gift of something that they truly need is a more wonderful gift, so these items on the tree are for real people, with real needs,” said Zeck.

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