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Santas get into spirit for seniors

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.

Nancy Angelo of Vista wraps a gift that will be going to a senior in need. Photo by Tony CagalaFrom left: Jacob Angelo, Amy Cooper of Life Care in Escondido and Richard Angelo at the San Marcos Senior Center. Photo by Tony CagalaNikki Lee, left, activity director of Life House, takes part in the ninth annual Be a Santa to a Senior program on Tuesday. Photo by Tony CagalaFauzia McClure wraps presents. Photo by Tony CagalaCity of San Marcos employee Buck Martin at the Be a Santa to a Senior event. Photo by Tony CagalaMia Yamamota, program director of AmeriCare carries gifts to be delivered to seniors this holiday season. Photo by Tony CagalaJackie Hartley of San Marcos helps to wrap gifts that will go to needy seniors. Photo by Tony CagalaSherrill Moore of San Marcos gets into the holiday spirit by helping to wrap gifts. Photo by Tony Cagala

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