The Castlegar community has come together to create 77 smiles this holiday season for local elderly residents through the Adopt-a-Senior program.
This service is meant for seniors who are in long-term care, assisted living or out in the community who may not have the support of friends or family, said Angela Grant, president of the organization.
Adopt-a-Senior organizers located local seniors and asked them to write down a wish list for Christmas. The item requests were posted onto the group’s Facebook page to involve the community in purchasing each gift. Grant ensured that each person who applied would receive what they asked for.
Program coordinators began the process at the beginning of November and have only started finishing the baskets this week. The gifts will be delivered to service providers for distribution.
The group also put together 44 meal baskets for seniors who won’t have a Christmas dinner. Each senior will receive a gift certificate for a turkey or ham, instant potatoes, stove-top stuffing and canned vegetables, along with chocolate or cookies for dessert.
The Castlegar the Adopt-a-Senior program has recently registered as a non-profit society, making it easier to receive support from sponsors. Grant hopes this will encourage larger corportations to donate.
“Now we can apply for gaming licences to host 50/50 draws and those type of fundraisers,” Grant said.
Having more funds has helped the group start a new initiative to assist elderly residents all year round with clothing and toiletry needs.
The group will also be launching an emergency fund in 2021. They plan organization to support four seniors each year with housing costs, groceries, dental or medical assistance and utility payments.