RED OAK — The holiday season is also the season of giving and a time to share smiles with those around you. As you gather to drink hot cocoa and sing carols with family and friends, it’s important to remember there are seniors in your community who would love to celebrate, too. However, many seniors live alone without someone to share this special time.

Home Instead Senior Care is offering the Red Oak community a chance to spread joy to local seniors. Through the Be a Santa to a Senior program, community members can give a senior a special holiday gift.

Since the program’s inception in 2003, the Be a Santa to a Senior program has mobilized more than 60,000 volunteers, provided approximately 2.1 million gifts and brightened the season for more than 700,000 deserving seniors nationwide.

“The Be a Santa to a Senior program is all about including seniors in the joy of the holiday season,” said Gary Freeman, owner of the Red Oak Home Instead Senior Care office. “A simple gift shows them they are a loved and cherished member of our community.”

Be a Santa to a Senior is a true community program, with generous support from local businesses, nonprofit organizations, retailers, numerous volunteers and members of the community. The Home Instead Senior Care office serving Ellis, Southeast Dallas and East Johnson County has partnered with Waxahachie Senior Center to help with gift collection and distribution.

It’s easy to help. Visit the participating location listed below and look for the Be a Santa to a Senior tree on display before Dec. 16. The tree will be decorated with ornaments featuring seniors’ first names and gift suggestions. Holiday shoppers can choose an ornament, buy the requested gift and return it to the Waxahachie Senior Center with the ornament attached. There’s no need to worry about wrapping — community volunteers and program partners will wrap and deliver the gifts to local seniors in time for the holidays.

“While it may seem like a small act of kindness, it can really make a difference for someone this holiday season,” said Freeman. “Watching seniors open the gifts they received through Be a Santa to a Senior and seeing the smiles and appreciation on their faces is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season.”

The Be a Santa to a Senior tree can be found at Waxahachie Senior Center, 122 Park Hills Drive, Waxahachie.

For more information about the program, visit http://BeaSantatoaSenior.com or call (972) 576-1100.

For more information about how you can help seniors in your community, visit http://imreadytocare.com.