There are incredible things happening at A & O: Support Services for Older Adults (A & O) in our effort to support older Winnipeggers. The holiday season is a time of celebration, however for isolated and vulnerable older adults it can be a very trying time.
Last holiday season A & O, in partnership with Home Instead Senior Care, delivered over 6000 gifts to socially isolated and/or in-need older adults who might not have otherwise received a gift. This year the Be a Santa to a Senior Program is celebrating its 12th anniversary!
To my Secret Santa - and to all the many who give their time and caring to provide a wonderful Christmas season to seniors they have never met. I can’t find the words to express how special I feel because of this wonderful program! ~ 2016 Recipient
A & O brings a bright light to many people during the holidays. Thank you so much for the lovely, lovely Christmas gifts. I am so grateful. It really felt like Christmas. My family is all in the USA so the lovely things helped with feeling lonely and missing my family. ~ 2015 Recipient
A & O staff and volunteers identify Agency clients and participants that would benefit from Be a Santa to a Senior. We also receive referrals from community partners including Agape Table, Hope Centre Health Care, West Central Women’s Resource Centre, Health Services on Elgin, Health Sciences Centre, Geriatric Mental Health, Centre de santé, Headingly Community Centre and the KeKiNan Centre.
The Be a Santa to a Senior, participants identify a gift they would like to receive (under $25.00). Common requests include warm lap blankets, clothes, playing cards, large print puzzle books, jigsaw puzzles and magnifiers. Over the past few years, we have seen many more requests for basic needs rather than wanted items.