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PHOTOS: Minnetonka Volunteer Event Spreads Holiday Cheer

UnitedHealthcare teamed up with Senior Services for a fun event.

People from UnitedHealthcare and  (Senior Community Services) spent Wednesday afternoon in holiday cheer, assembling gift baskets at the . The baskets will be delivered to Meals on Wheels participants and local senior centers.

UnitedHealthcare, headquartered in Minnetonka, annually selects a nonprofit to support each holiday season. Employees spread throughout the community center and mingled with the seniors. Some called bingo, some made cards and some passed out chocolate chip cookies. The room was abuzz with chatter and holiday cheer­– exactly what they were trying to achieve.

“We are also in Minnetonka, and we are essentially your neighbors,” Brian Elkjer, of UnitedHealthcare, said as he welcomed guests. “We would like to sit down and really get to know you.”

UnitedHealthcare contacted Tim Morin, program coordinator for the Household & Outdoor Maintenance for the Elderly, about hosting an event to help seniors in the community. Houshold & Outdoor Maintenance is a chore service for senior citizens in 15 suburban Hennepin County communities. 

“Definitely a great program,” Morin said. “There’s a lot of really great people who have really got involved, so it really has turned into a great partnership.”

In addition to the gift baskets—filled with coffee, games or movie-night items—UnitedHealthcare is giving big-ticket items to 11 Household & Outdoor Maintenance clients who need an extra something this holiday season. One will receive a queen-sized bed, another a new TV and another a desk.

Morin was also impressed with the for donating use of the Community Center.

After winning the bingo “jackpot” of UnitedHealthcare promotional items, Bev Montgomery, a Minnetonka resident on the Minnetonka Senior Center board, said she appreciated the event. 

“It’s a great undertaking for the senior centers," she said, "And it’s nice to have the senior centers here from Plymouth, the Gillespie Center (Mound) and even St. Louis Park.”

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