Christmas is a time for friends, family, and celebration. A time to remember how blessed and loved we are, and to remind those we love how much they mean to us.
Unless you’re an isolated senior and you’ve outlived your friends and live far from your family, if you even have one. Imagine waking up alone on Christmas morning with no loved ones and no gifts.
“The holidays can be a troubling time for seniors. They feel the absence or the distance of loved ones,” said Alistair Hicks, Owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office in Victoria. That’s why he and his team led by “Chief Elf” Peggy Hancyk, have committed themselves to facilitating Be a Santa To a Senior®, a community program that provides gifts and companionship to isolated seniors.
Imagine waking up on Christmas morning with no one around, just another day. Now imagine being given an unexpected gift and how it would feel to know someone had thought of something personal just for you – a reminder that you are a valued member of the community.
“We see even those with advanced dementia express wonder and delight,” says Hancyk. “Their pleasure and happiness shine through at Christmas.”
Gifts gathered from the tremendously generous people of Greater Victoria, people who have gone out of their way to pick up gifts listed on Be a Santa to a Senior Trees, are collected and wrapped by Home Instead staff and volunteers who then make sure they are delivered to the senior as “a gift from Santa.”
“I wish each person who has bought a gift for a senior or disabled person could be with them when they receive the Christmas gift,” wrote one social worker. “Some people show their surprise and happiness at getting the gift, others are quiet and thoughtful. A gift – the act of giving – can renew their faith in human nature because people out in the wide world still care for them without even knowing them.”
“Be a Santa to a Senior provides a ray of hope for many seniors, and it means so much to know people care and value them,” says Hicks.
Be a Santa to a Senior is made possible through the generous support of local businesses, nonprofit organizations, retailers, numerous volunteers, and members of the community. For more information, visit www.beasantatoasenior.com or call Home Instead at 250-382-6565.