Donations needed to help senior citizens

Tree for Senior Citizen gifts at Walgreens in Pigeon Forge. (Source: Kyle Grainger, WVLT)

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Some of the simplest items can help make a brighter holiday for seniors across East Tennessee.

Be a Santa To a Senior program collects, wraps and delivers gifts to lonely and needy seniors in Blount, Loudon, Monroe and McMinn counties. The program runs from Nov. 1 to Dec. 6.

"Folks who may not have a lot of family, maybe they don't have a lot of resources and so these tags with their gift needs go up on the trees," said Reed O'Brien with Home Instead Senior Care. "Very simple things, I mean stuff that a lot of stuff we wouldn't even think to ask for as a gift idea. But that's what it's about is just meeting the need."

O'Brien says this year the need is greater than in years past.

A tree at the Walgreens in Pigeon Forge asks for some of the simplest items from socks to warm blankets.

"You know everyone's aware of maybe Toys for Tots and all kinds of things that are available for kids, but our seniors are out there and many of them are in the same situation." said Patrick Baker, manager of Walgreens in Pigeon Forge. "They're simple stuff, a toothbrush, toothpaste a towel, simple stuff."

The program runs from Nov. 1 to Dec. 6. You can find donation points on the Be a Santa to Senior website.

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