Jingles rang, laughter boomed, red hats were donned, and wonderful gifts were delivered with holiday cheer. One might have thought that Santa Claus himself walked the halls of The Vic!
This December, The Vic Foundation joined local organizations to collect over 6,000 gifts for older adults in our community as part of Home Instead Senior Care’s Be A Santa To A Senior program. From mid-November to December, our community fought senior loneliness and isolation by purchasing gifts and fulfilling gift requests for local seniors who might not have otherwise received a gift this year.
Victoria Lifeline staff and families donated 15 gifts, giving older adults in our community some love and holiday cheer. Krystal Stokes, the Communications and Public Relations Manager for Victoria Lifeline, said even the smallest gifts can make the biggest difference.
“One of the gift requests we fulfilled this year was for a pair of warm socks and a crossword puzzle,” said Krystal. “It reminds everyone that it’s not always about the gift, but the connection that is made with someone who is all alone over the holidays.”
Throughout the year, Victoria Lifeline works with isolated adults to help give them independence and confidence. Krystal says she and the rest of Victoria Lifeline’s staff know how important programs like Be A Santa are to the community, and how they can light up the holidays for many older adults.
“Our staff and volunteers are in the homes of older adults every day. We hear their heartbreaking stories of loneliness and financial hardship,” said Krystal. “That’s why we are a proud partner of the Be A Santa program. It fits with the philosophy of our own Subsidy Program — that everyone should have access to help regardless of age, ability or income.”
The Vic’s staff also got in on the festivities! Staff and their families hand delivered gifts to patients on Christmas Day, and Cathy Neyedley, one of The Vic’s Facility Patient Care Managers, brought Be A Santa To A Senior to Niverville where 87 gifts were delivered this year. She says she expects the program to “explode” next year!
With another year in the books, the Be A Santa To A Senior program was a huge success. We are already looking forward to what we can accomplish together next Winter!