October 28th, 2020

Campaigns look to bring cheer to seniors over the holidays


By Bobinec, Greg on November 13, 2019.

Resident Stefia Sims adds an ornament as she helps decorate a Christmas tree Tuesday morning at AgeCare Columbia Retirement Community. Herald photo by Ian Martens @IMartensHerald

Greg Bobinec

Lethbridge Herald

gbobinec@lethbridgeherald.com

Two campaigns are joining forces for the fifth year to help bring Christmas cheer to senior homes in Lethbridge through gifts for seniors feeling lonely over the holidays.

AgeCare Columbia and London Drugs Lethbridge have teamed up for the Christmas to Remember and Stocking Stuffers for Seniors initiatives to bring cheer to socially isolated seniors. With support from local organizations, schools, churches and volunteers, the joint donation drive aims to surpass the 500 gift donations delivered last year.

“It is really important because a lot of seniors don’t have family, don’t have friends in and around Lethbridge and it is important that they are thought about around Christmas time, to let them know that people really do love and admire them,” says Matejah Kovacs, administrator, AgeCare Columbia. “With the Christmas to Remember, it is a way to bring some joy to the seniors and it’s about giving and not about receiving, and we give to these people that really need it and really deserve it.”

According to Statistics Canada, as many as 1.4 million elderly Canadians report feeling lonely, and when seniors are lonely or isolated, it can significantly compromise their mental and physical health. The holidays are a time when families and friends connect with each other, and for seniors living alone, this time of year can be especially difficult for them. Kovacs says the gifts go a long way in lifting the spirits of the seniors and they are thankful for the warm-hearted individuals who go out of their way to make a difference in their lives.

“In previous years they have been very happy about it and they are very excited. It really means a lot to them and they are really excited when they see that someone is thinking about them,” says Kovacs. “It is very heartwarming and it is really nice to see that people care and are taking the time out of their day to get these things for people in need.”

London Drugs Lethbridge has teamed up with AgeCare Columbia between Nov. 12 and Dec. 16 for the Stocking Stuffers for Seniors and A Christmas to Remember, where they will have a display tree with the seniors wish lists. London Drugs say they are happy to support this program for how much it brightens the holiday season for seniors.

“It’s very heartwarming to participate in this campaign to support seniors right here in our community,” says Chris Mabie, store manager at London Drugs in Lethbridge. “It shows them they haven’t been forgotten, that someone cares, and that can make all the difference during the holidays.”

People can visit London Drugs or AgeCare Columbia to select a tag with a seniors wish from the tree. From there they will fulfil the items on the list and bring it back to either location by Dec. 16. The gifts will then be wrapped and delivered by volunteers on Dec. 18, just in time for Christmas.

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