Today marks the launch of the fifth annual holiday donation drive for seniors by AgeCare Valleyview and London Drugs. The two campaigns, Christmas to Remember and Stocking Stuffers for Seniors, help to bring holiday cheer to socially isolated seniors in Medicine Hat. With support from local organizations, schools, churches, and volunteers, the joint donation drive aims to surpass the 2,500 gift donations delivered last year.
“The donated items are only part of the campaign. The true gift is taking the time to reach out and connect with seniors. You can see the impact written across a smiling senior’s face when our volunteers deliver the presents in person. It reminds them that someone out there cares about them – even if that person is a stranger they have never met,” says Kike Kola-Ojo, Administrator at AgeCare Valleyview.
According to Statistics Canada, as many as 1.4 million elderly Canadians report feeling lonely[i]. When seniors are lonely or isolated, it can significantly compromise their mental and physical health. The holidays are a time when most expect to connect with family members and friends, so for seniors living alone or who have lost a companion, this time of year can be especially difficult and exacerbate feelings of loneliness.
To support Stocking Stuffers for Seniors and A Christmas to Remember, visit London Drugs or AgeCare Valleyview between November 12th and December 16th and select a tag with a senior’s wish list from the tree. From there, simply fulfill the items on the list and bring them back to either location by December 16th. The gifts will be wrapped and delivered by volunteers on December 18th, just in time for Christmas.
“It’s very heartwarming to participate in this campaign to support seniors right here in our community. It shows them they haven’t been forgotten, that someone cares. And that can make all the difference during the holidays,” says Greg Whelpley, Store Manager at London Drugs in Medicine Hat.
The 3 ways you can participate:
About Christmas to Remember
The Christmas to Remember program is a community initiative lead by AgeCare Valleyview. We happily volunteer our time and resources to ensure each registered senior receives their gift by Christmas. The campaign has grown to include three AgeCare locations in Medicine Hat, Brooks and Lethbridge and has delivered thousands of gifts to seniors in need of holiday cheer. For more about the program, visit www.carethischristmas.ca
About Stocking Stuffers for Seniors
Stocking Stuffers for Seniors originated in BC’s Okanagan and expanded to Edmonton in 2015 with a goal to help 40 low-income seniors by providing them with simple gifts such as food, hygiene products or warmth items. The campaign has grown quickly to now include all London Drugs locations supporting thousands of seniors during the holidays. This Christmas, London Drugs aims to bring extra holiday cheer to 17,000 seniors. For more about the program, visit www.londondrugs.com/stocking-stuffers-for-seniors
[i] Source: Statistics Canada https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/82-003-x/2013010/article/11872-eng.htm