Campaigns look to help seniors at Christmas

·3 min read

Dale Woodard

Lethbridge Herald

AgeCare Columbia Lethbridge and London Drugs have joined forces in a special initiative to ensure seniors aren’t forgotten during the holiday season.

The “A Christmas to Remember” and “Stocking Stuffers for Seniors” holiday donation campaigns officially launched Tuesday morning at London Drugs.

In a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated social isolation and loneliness among seniors in the community, the annual joint donation drive looks to bring some Christmas spirit and cheer to more than 1,500 socially isolated and financially challenged seniors in Lethbridge.

“It’s looking after our seniors and trying to find something that we can do with the community,” said London Drugs store manager Chris Mabie. “What we’ve done for the last few years is partner with AgeCare and done “A Christmas To Remember’ as well as “Stocking Stuffers for Seniors.’ You come in, take a tag off our Christmas tree. It will have an individual senior’s name on it and some gift ideas they may want this Christmas. It’s so they know someone is thinking of them.”

“A Christmas To Remember” was a success last year, said Matejah Kovacs, administrator at AgeCare Columbia.

“We had so many seniors who were so happy and thankful for it. They were delighted in a sense there were so many people thinking of them, wanting them to have a great Christmas, and people had thought specifically about what they wanted. There are a lot of seniors who are very impacted by this. Last year there were quite a few that got gifts and it was just amazing.”

With COVID-19 showing no signs of slowing with the holiday season around the corner, the “A Christmas To Remember” becomes that much more crucial for seniors.

“There are so many restrictions and seeing as seniors are a very vulnerable population we really want to make sure they’re safe and cared for,” said Kovacs. “But a lot of them are not able to see their families during Christmas time. A lot of them are staying indoors and a lot of them are suffering from isolation. Even something as small as giving them a blanket or chocolates is showing someone is thinking of them specifically. It makes such an impact and it’s so heartwarming to see.”

“With COVID, I think one of the groups that have been impacted the most has been seniors,” added Mabie. “So having someone think of them by giving them a present under the tree this year is going to make a big difference.”

Which is the key reason why London Drugs is involved in the campaign, said Mabie.

“We realize seniors are a crucial part of our community and so often they can be a forgotten part of our community as well. We wanted to bring attention and awareness to it and we want to make sure every senior feels needed and wanted in our community.”

Those interested in becoming a Secret Santa can pick up a gift tag at London Drugs (110 – 905 1 Ave. N.) or Foothills Century 21 (155-200 4 Ave. S.) to purchase a gift.

The gifts- wrapped in a gift bag- must be dropped off at London Drugs by Dec. 14.

For more information about “A Christmas To Remember” or to register a senior in need visit https://living.agecare.ca/a-christmas-to-remember-lethbridge.

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Dale Woodard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Lethbridge Herald