Martin's Super Markets will host its 9th annual "Secret Santa for Seniors" program Friday through Sunday.
All 21 Martin's locations will particpate in the event, which encourages holiday shoppers to choose an ornament with the name of a financially needy senior and his or her gift requests.
Secret Santa make it possible for community volunteers to deliver Christmas presents to area seniors who may not otherwise receive a gift this holiday season.
"At this time of the year we always think of kids. But it's a nice way to remember seniors who are in nursing homes who might not have family or otherwise receive a gift for christmas. And it's really easy because they can pick up the gift while they're shopping for their other groceries, pay for it at checkout, and it's done," says Martin's Community Affairs supervisor, Barb Levan.
Last year, the program collected, wrapped and delivered over 5,400 gifts for over 2,000 local seniors. And this year, they're hoping to grow by collecting over 6,000.
"Not only has the program grown, but it's one our customers and employees look forward to. And other good things have come from it, such as high school kids that work at Martin's locations heading over to the nursing home reading to seniors or painting their nails. It really gets people involved in an easy way," says Levan.