OSWEGO COUNTY – The Oswego County Office for the Aging and NY Connects of Oswego County introduce a new program, Santa For Seniors, to bring a little cheer to older adults this holiday season.

“It is that time of the year when many of us are looking forward to being with our families and loved ones,” said Sara Sunday, director of the Oswego County Office for the Aging. “Unfortunately, there are some older members of the community who will spend the holidays alone because they don’t have a family support system or have limited financial resources. This program is meant to help ease any sense of isolation and bring the joy of the holiday season to them.”

Santa for Seniors is an anonymous gift-giving program in which organizations or individuals “adopt” older adults and help them re-capture the wonder of childhood.

The public is invited to recommend a senior in their community that would benefit from the program. The nominee must also consent to the recommendation.

The nomination must have a description of the older adult with fun facts and details, such as their former careers or jobs, personality traits, hobbies and interests. It should also incorporate gift suggestions for needed and wanted items, including sizes and colors when appropriate, and the reason the program would be meaningful to them.

“It is extremely important to describe the older adult because adopters often choose a recipient that they identify with,” said Elizabeth Weimer, caregiver services coordinator, Oswego County Office for the Aging and NY Connects of Oswego County. “Those who are recommending a senior should complete the nomination form fully and legibly and be sure to include interesting details about the nominee.”

The OFA is accepting nominations of seniors into the program until Friday, Nov. 15. Staff will then screen the nomination forms, calling nominees to confirm consent and individual information. To maintain confidentiality, each nominee will be assigned a number that the adoptee must write clearly on a secure tag on every gift.

Kim Briest, administrative assistant with the Oswego County Office for the Aging, added, “Some things to keep in mind about this gift-giving program are that all presents must be new. No plants or perishable items are permitted. We also request no gift cards as some older adults are homebound and do not have access or transportation to use them.”

Adopters are asked to drop off wrapped gifts at the Oswego County Office for the Aging, 70 Bunner St., Oswego by Friday, Dec. 6. Staff will deliver the gifts to the seniors.

To obtain a nomination form or volunteer to adopt a senior, e-mail elizabeth.weimer@oswegocounty.com or kim.briest@oswegocounty.com.

For more information about Oswego County Office for the Aging, call 315-349-3484.

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