Besa Launching Adopt A Senior 2018 On November 1, Aiming To Provide Over 1,500 Senior Citizens With Secret Santas

Columbus, Ohio — On Nov. 1, Columbus nonprofit Besa will kick off Adopt a Senior, its holiday gift drive that invites people to become Secret Santas for people in need. This year’s Adopt a Senior aims to be the biggest ever, supporting over 1,500 senior citizens with more than $70,000 in gifts this season.

In 2012, Besa rallied a handful of Secret Santas to buy $240 in gifts for 26 senior citizens through Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging’s Holiday Gift Drive — a program started by nurse Judy Camp and now championed by her daughter in Judy’s honor.

Since then, Besa’s Adopt a Senior drive has evolved into its largest annual project. Over six years, the program has enlisted thousands of Secret Santas who have provided nearly $225,000 in gifts to more than 3,300 seniors. While it continues supporting seniors through the COAAA program, it also supports seniors at National Church Residences and At Home By High.

This year, Humana is sponsoring Besa’s work behind Adopt a Senior.

“Humana is committed to the communities we serve, and we’re delighted to be a part of this wonderful initiative right here in Central Ohio,” said Humana Regional President Larry Costello. “During this time of year, it’s our privilege to help Adopt a Senior share some holiday joy in the community.”

Additional partners include Big Lots, EXPRESS, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Kind Columbus and The Nina West Fund at The Columbus Foundation.

Last year, the Columbus community adopted all 1,300 seniors on Besa’s list within 48 hours of the program going live.

“I am in awe of the way people so generously rally behind our area seniors through this event year in and year out,” said Besa CEO Matthew Goldstein. “It is beyond heartwarming; it is a true display of the kindness that permeates and uplifts our city.”

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; leave the gifts with Besa during a festive drop-off day; and COAAA, National Church Residences and At Home By High deliver the gifts.

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