St. Joseph’s Foundation has kicked off the seventh annual Be Their Secret Santa program to make Christmas brighter for clients of St. Joseph’s Care Group.

For the past six years, St. Joseph’s Foundation has provided gifts at Christmas time to clients through the Be Their Secret Santa program. The program provides gifts and visits to clients who will be spending Christmas alone in care at St. Joseph’s Care Group sites. In 2020, this program brought joy to 445 clients.

The organization has set a goal to deliver gifts to approximately 450 clients who find this season to be a lonely time. As COVID-19 continues to impact our day-to-day lives, we know this year again, similar to 2020, more clients will be spending Christmas alone in our sites due to visitor restrictions and caution when choosing to travel.

“Each year we see the need grow for the Be Their Secret Santa program and we will continue to rise to the challenge to meet that need,” said Gail Brescia, executive director for St. Joseph’s Foundation.

“The gifts include a brand new pair of pajamas or a blanket, a pair of socks or mitts and a special festive treat,” she added. “The joy that our clients feel when a volunteer delivers the gift and spends some time visiting is priceless.”

Be Their Secret Santa relies on the generosity of our community. This year, similar to 2020, we would like to encourage monetary support of the program to reduce exposure to clients and staff through in-kind items. St. Joseph’s Foundation staff will purchase items directly from local stores. The items will be quarantined and sanitized prior to being given to clients.

“While Christmas is traditionally seen as a joyous time, for many clients in care, the holiday season is a lonely time. If it weren’t for the Be Their Secret Santa program many clients at St. Joseph’s Care Group would not receive a Christmas gift or visit this year,” said Tom Beck, who chairs the St. Joseph’s Foundation board of directors.

“Some of our clients do not have family that can afford to give them a gift, and many do not have family involved at all,” he added. “This is the season of giving and supporting the Be Their Secret Santa program is a wonderful way to feel the spirit of Christmas. We hope anyone who can, will make a donation to the program.”

You can support the Be Their Secret Santa program by making a donation at the foundation office located in St. Joseph’s Heritage at 63 Carrie St., online at www.sjftb.net/santa, or by calling 768-4440.