‘Be a Santa to a Senior’: Edmonton-area seniors surprised with Christmas presents

Group of Edmontonians aims to make Christmas less lonely for some seniors
WATCH ABOVE: A group of Edmontonians is working to make the holidays a little brighter for some seniors who may be feeling lonely around Christmastime. Sarah Komadina explains.

Home Instead Senior Care started the “Be a Santa to a Senior” 16 years ago, giving more than two million seniors a present for the holidays.

This is the first time the Edmonton office is taking part.

“When you look at some of the gifts, some of the plush animals, it may seem like that is a small thing, but to a senior, they may be lonely, their eyes are going to brighten up,” Home Instead Edmonton office owner Brent Boyd said.

“I’m not saying, don’t donate to other organizations, but sometimes the seniors get forgot, and the impact you can make on their life is huge.”

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Home Instead in Edmonton delivered about 50 gifts to seniors Friday but will continue to collect and deliver items until Dec. 24. Their goal is to reach 100 seniors.

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At their stop at Salem Manor in Leduc, Alta., seniors could be seen smiling ear to ear and cooing at their new teddy bears. One senior was immediately tucked into the blanket that was given to her.

For seniors like Marion Leweke, it brought magic back to the holiday.

“I feel pretty happy. I was quite surprised.”

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Ina Stewart was part of that crowd, and really appreciated her present full of goodies.

“I got cookies, (slippers) and stuff for my face, (to) make it (look) younger,” Stewart said.

“It was wonderful to even have all the people around, and it’s Christmas time and people are here to make it nice for us.”

READ MORE: Decorated doors in Calgary seniors home capture true spirit of Christmas