Santa Claus, a.k.a. Your Local Community Liaison

senior services

By Derek Brawner, Health Alliance

One of the best perks about being a Community Liaison for Health AllianceTM is not just educating people about Medicare and the wonderful plans Health Alliance offers. For me, one of the best things is being able to build great partnerships with the community providers in my area. Today, I’m going to let you know about one of the perks I got to do in December 2020. Let’s just say it made me jolly!

The Senior Services of Central Illinois is a local community provider of services for older adults in my territory. They don’t only provide a safe environment for these adults to go to during the day, but offer countless other services as well. They provide counseling, Meals on Wheels, education services, bingo, and too many more to list. Health Alliance and I partner with Senior Services of Central Illinois to help them be able to put on activities for the older adults in their care, through sponsorship donations. Barb Hipsher, activity director for Senior Services of Central Illinois, plans many great activities every month. Barb also makes sure to invite and include me at every activity she puts on, as a thanks for sponsoring their events.

I love all the activities—but by far my favorite event is her Christmas Holiday party. Now, the last two years have had to be a little different due to COVID-19, and it had to become a drive-thru Christmas event. Last year Barb asked if I’d like to assist in handing out gifts at the drive-thru. I jumped at the chance and had a surprise for her when I showed up! I went and bought a Santa outfit to wear as I helped hand out the gifts—just my way of bringing extra cheer, since 2020 had been a tough year in so many ways. Those who came to the drive-thru event to collect gifts were so excited to see Santa—it just made their day far more than receiving a gift. And seeing their reaction really made my day. Just another great perk of my job. 

The 2021 holiday season is now upon us and I was approached again to attend the Senior Services of Central Illinois Christmas event. I gladly accepted—and I just bet that Santa will also be back again this year. 

Derek Brawner is a community and broker liaison at Health Alliance. He’s a small-town guy living in the big city of Springfield, married with two kids, a huge Star Wars fan and a griller extraordinaire. Like this article? Feel free to respond to [email protected]. Thanks for reading!


For additional informative and inspirational articles visit 50 Plus News and Views Greater Peoria Area online edition today.

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