Ho Ho Home Instead

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(Ho Ho Home Instead)

Home Instead’s “Be a Santa for Seniors” Event a huge success

Hundreds and hundreds of caring volunteers joined Home Instead owners Jason and Debbie Baker and family to celebrate the, “Be a Santa to a senior” program, held Wednesday, December 18 at the Hemet Library.

According to Debbie Baker, “We are here to wrap presents for seniors in our community who otherwise would not be getting a present. Home Instead provides companionship, meal preparation, medication reminders, personal services and other care services to seniors in our community, and this is just another way of giving back to the people who have given us so much,” said Baker.

While there was a joyous, raucous, cheerful feel to the festivities, Home Instead co-owner Jason Baker was able to oversee the event with precision due to having been through this before. “This is a Home Instead event, and we’ve been holding the event in the valley for 14 years. We work with approximately 35 different senior organizations such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, mobile home parks, etcetera, so they give us the name and gift ideas of people within their facilities who would like a gift or need a gift. We had between 1,500 and 1,600 names that were given to us this year.” That might seem a daunting amount of needy people but Baker says, “…we had about 150 names left over…but we were able to match them up with miscellaneous gifts which were given to us, and so we were able to meet the needs of everyone. These things included blankets, toiletries, warmers, etcetera, so we were able to help everyone.”

The Destination Coffeehouse and Bistro was on-hand as a food donation vendor as was Jersey Mike’s. The Bank of Hemet, Desert Hills Memory Care Center, The Medicine Shoppe, SJ Medical Group, Pacifica Senior Living and Arbor Hospice were among those who gave monetary donations. “We put names on tags, along with the needed gift, at places like Walmarts and malls, the Hemet Hospital…and the people of the community stepped up as they always do, and donated to us.”

Volunteer and Mrs. Riverside, Valerie Vandever said, “It’s a great time to be down here, and a great sense of community. We’re having a wonderful time wrapping gifts for our seniors. We love this and we’ve done it every year for fourteen years.”

Volunteer, AFLAC Representative and Hemet-San Jacinto Chamber of Commerce member Laurel Netherton said, “I’m here to help the community. We love this event. I’m so thankful for all of the support given us by this community and we just feel that it’s only right to give back to the community.”

To donate your time or dollars, or to donate gifts next year, please visit Home Instead at 414 S. Palm Street in Hemet or call (951) 929-1050

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