May 25th, 2024

Christmas to Remember for seniors too


By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on December 17, 2021.

Herald photo by Al Beeber Members of a Lethbridge Beta Sigma Phi chapter wrap gifts at AgeCare Columbia this week as part of its Christmas to Remember program. Presents will be distributed to several hundred lonely or financially disadvantaged seniors in southern Alberta so they know they are cared about during the holiday season.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

With efforts to help needy children in the spotlight at Christmas, one segment of society can be forgotten.
But an initiative by AgeCare Columbia, a westside seniors living community, is seeing that Santa has a special Christmas present for elderly southern Albertans living alone or who are financially challenged.
This week, a group of community “elves” descended on the facility to wrap gifts for the Christmas to Remember program run by AgeCare in conjunction with various agencies as well as London Drugs and Century 21 Foothills Real Estate.
The program delivers anonymous gifts to seniors across southern Alberta.
AgeCare Columbia retirement living coordinator Jackie Gray said the plan is to deliver gifts to between 500 and 600 southern Alberta seniors this Christmas.
“It’s very sad. Seniors tend to be the forgotten segment,” said Gray as she oversaw two teams of community volunteers wrapping presents. One group included members of a city sorority, Beta Sigma Phi.
Some gifts are generic and others are provided from organizations such as Lethbridge Family Services, the food bank, Meals on Wheels, and LSCO so there’s several agencies that we deal with as well as some of the lodges,” said Gray.
“It’s geared to seniors who are alone or in need to make sure that they have a little bit of Merry Christmas when they get up,” Gray added.
“There’s a lot of seniors, not only in Lethbridge but this goes out into the surrounding communities as well, Taber, Coaldale, Coalhurst, Pincher Creek, the Crowsnest Pass. There’s a lot of seniors living on basic pension so they can’t afford to be at a lodge and maybe their families have moved away so they just don’t have Christmas at their house,” she said.
“Our aim is just to put a little Merry in their Christmas.”

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