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College Students Will Be Santa For Seniors

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Medical Assistant students from Four-D College’s Victorville campus will help bring Christmas cheer to many elderly High Desert residents by participating in Home Instead Senior Care’s “Be A Senior To A Santa” program.

Be A Senior to a Santa is designed to ensure that lonely and limited-income senior citizens receive at least one Christmas gift this year.

Home Instead Senior Care administers this program as a community service, with offices in Victorville and other Inland Empire cities participating.

“These are senior citizens who have limited finances, or they live alone and have no one to care for them,” said Martha Brodie, community services representative for the Home Instead Senior Care office in Victorville. They ask for things like blankets, slippers, personal grooming items – things that most of us take for granted.”

“Because we are the only ones doing something for seniors at Christmas, the public has been wildly supportive,” Brodie said. “We receive an unbelievable outpouring of gifts, all of which are much appreciated by our seniors.”

Residents of many communities in the United States may type in their ZIP code to find a location with a Christmas tree bearing ornaments with the names and needs of senior citizens identified by local agencies serving the senior adult population.

After they take an ornament and purchase a gift for that senior, people should bring their gift back to the same location.

In the High Desert and San Bernardino mountain areas (all served by the Victorville office of Home Instead), these trees can be found at 17 locations, including Home Instead, Greiner Buick- Pontiac in Victorville, JC Penny’s at the Mall of Victor Valley, all San Bernardino County branches of Alaska USA Credit Union and many others. These trees are in the Victor Valley, Barstow and Big Bear Lake.

The Four-D College students will join others for a “Christmas Wrapping Party,” Brodie said. After volunteers collect the gifts from the various Christmas tree locations and take them to a central location, the Apple Valley Wal-Mart distribution center’s staff collects them on the morning of Dec. 8. At the distribution center other volunteers, including the students, will wrap gifts from 11 a.m. until finished.

This is the second year Four-D College students have helped with Be A Santa to A Senior.

“Last year they were phenomenal. About 40 students wrapped 4,000 gifts in three hours,” Brodie said. “We had about 100 volunteers in all, but we couldn’t have done nearly as much without the students from Four-D College.”

“The students love the sense of community and teamwork we experience,” said Cheryl Jerzak, Medical Assistant program director. “And I personally love wrapping presents. I did so professionally for eight years.”

Four-D College provides education in the growing health care field at locations in Colton and Victorville.

Four-D College offers programs in vocational nursing, medical assistant, medical billing and coding, dental assistant, massage therapy and pharmacy technician.

New courses begin monthly at Four-D College and courses are available in the morning, afternoon and evening to meet the needs of working adults. For more information or a tour, call (800) 600-5422 or go to www.4DCollege.edu

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