Be a Santa to a Senior initiative kicks off in Guelph

Click to play video: 'Be a Santa to a Senior'
Be a Santa to a Senior
Global’s Eilish Bonang sits down with the Home Instead Halifax director of service and engagement, Brittany Keough, to chat about the 16th annual “Be a Santa to a Senior” program which sees local seniors receive donated gifts from members of the community! – Nov 28, 2022

This holiday season you can be a Santa to a senior.

Long-term care company Home Instead is spear-heading the initiative.

Here’s how it works. You pick out an ornament on a “Be a Santa to a Senior” tree at one of the two participating Chartwell locations in the area.

The ornament will feature the senior’s name and desired gift. So then you buy a gift, return it to that participating location, and it’ll be wrapped later.

General manager for Home Instead Guelph Larrisa Sorek said it’s a really great way to be involved in the community.

She said the goal is to receive 90 gifts.

“To know that you can go in and be a part of the community and bring a smile to someone who would go without, it’s so special to be able to do that,” Sorek said.

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Sorek said the gift shopper’s purchase is going to go to someone on Christmas morning who isn’t expecting one, maybe because they’re without family in the area or maybe because they can’t afford to buy one.

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She said there are a variety of gifts to buy as well.

“A nice soft, warm blanket. Slippers, socks, a nice sweater or pajamas. Treats, everyone loves treats as long as they’re not diabetic or diabetic treats are sometimes a nice gesture,” she said.

Other items include toiletries, body wash, hats and mitts.

She said they hope to help out four different long-term-care homes and three hospitals.

Sorek added monetary donations are available at the Be a Senior to a Santa website, which would be put toward bags, wrapping paper, tape and bows.

Shoppers can go to two participating Chartwell locations. One is on Gordon Street in Guelph and the other is on Melville Street in Cambridge.

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Ornaments are available until Dec. 9 and there’ll be a wrapping party at the Chartwell Queen Square in Cambridge on Dec. 14.

For those looking to volunteer for the wrapping party, Sorek said they can reach out to her at the Home Instead office in Guelph.

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