Columbus, Ohio — On Nov. 1, Columbus nonprofit Besa will kick off Adopt A Senior, its holiday gift drive that supports over 1,300 senior citizens with more than $55,000 in gifts.

This marks the sixth year for Besa’s involvement with the gifting program, which was launched by Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging several years ago and allows volunteers to sign up as Secret Santas for local senior citizens.

Besa’s involvement with the program began in 2012, when Besa enlisted Secret Santas to buy $240 in gifts for 26 seniors. Since then, Besa’s Adopt A Senior drive has enlisted hundreds of Secret Santas who have provided $100,000 in holiday gifts to more than 2,000 senior citizens.

This year, Humana is underwriting the cost of Besa’s work behind Adopt A Senior.

“Humana is committed to caring for seniors, and we are thrilled to help others do the same this year through Adopt A Senior,” said Humana Regional President Larry Costello. “Without this program, many seniors wouldn’t be unwrapping anything at the holidays. The idea that so many generous neighbors are making that possible is inspiring."

Additional partners include Big Lots, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams and The Columbus Foundation, among others.
Last year, the Columbus community adopted all 1,300 seniors on Besa’s list within 72 hours of the program going live.

“It's humbling to see the community rally around our most vulnerable members and uplift them with kindness," said Besa Executive Director Matthew Goldstein. "It captures the true essence of holiday spirit.”

Volunteers can sign up to be Secret Santas beginning Nov. 1 at

Each Secret Santa receives a wish list from a local senior citizen. Secret Santas then purchase and wrap gifts, bring the presents to Besa’s Winter Wonderland for drop-off, and the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging and National Church Residences deliver the gifts.

Click to view the 2016 Adopt A Senior video.

Besa is a Columbus nonprofit dedicated to supporting those who need it most by connecting people and businesses with local charities, from food pantries to homeless shelters. Besa offers a portal at where Columbus residents can easily find and register for volunteer opportunities citywide; it hosts drives for various nonprofits; and it helps corporate partners manage and enhance their philanthropic efforts. For more, visit


Kristy Eckert, Founder + Chief Strategist
Kristy Eckert Communications