Santas get into spirit for seniors

Santas get into spirit for seniors
Paul Dziuban, far right, with volunteers on Tuesday help wrap gifts at the San Marcos Senior Center. The gifts will be distributed to needy seniors through a program called Be a Santa to a Senior. Photo by Tony Cagala

SAN MARCOS — Holiday tunes and the sounds of presents being wrapped filled the walls of the San Marcos Senior Center on Tuesday.

Volunteers looked to be having as good a time as the amount of good the presents being wrapped will bring to the seniors that receive them.

The room full of volunteers were taking part in a community-wide gift-wrapping party for the annual Be a Santa to a Senior program.

The program, which happens throughout North America, gathers gifts from the public and businesses and distributes them to seniors that are alone.

Paul Dziuban, franchise owner of the Home Instead Senior Care in Vista, which allows seniors to age in place, has been participating in the program for the past nine years.

It’s for those lonely, needy seniors, explained Dziuban. By getting them something, it helps to brighten their holiday, he added.

Since they started the program, the communities, Dziuban said, have embraced it.

Starting after Thanksgiving, the gifts started to pour in at local Walmart stores and the final donations were collected just a few days ago.

According to Home Instead Senior Care, they’ve collected and distributed 1.2 million gifts to more than 700,000 seniors.

The gifts being wrapped on Tuesday will be going to seniors throughout North County.

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