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Tuesday , 22 June 2021

Stockings for Seniors wants to lessen isolation around Christmas

A push to give seniors holiday cheer around Christmastime is happening again this year.

Stockings for Seniors is back for the second year and expanding with a partnership with the Cold Lake Age-Friendly Society.

The initiative sees community members in Bonnyville and Cold Lake donate small gifts to seniors in these areas who may be feeling isolated around the holidays.

Sandra Evans, organizer, started Stockings for Seniors last year and is looking to uplift those she feels can be forgotten about.

“To me, the seniors are our cornerstone of our society of our communities. They built our communities. Without them, we wouldn’t have them,” said Evans.

“And yet, they’re forgotten a lot.”

After Remembrance Day, Christmas trees at the Cold Lake Chamber of Commerce and Centennial Centre will have names of seniors in the communities that are wanting to receive some Christmas joy.

You can then choose a name, register their seniors‘ name with their contact information and then the adopter will receive the seniors’ Christmas wish list.

Once the adopter has purchased or made their gift, the unwrapped gift is bought back to the location in which they took the seniors name and gives it to the front desk.

The seniors in extended or long term care will receive stockings with appropriate items in them, as seniors in extended care can have different needs than those in long-term, said Evans.

“In long term care, people would get like, hats, mitts, socks. And the extended care would get things like shawls, slippers, things like that,” she said.

“Their needs are a little bit different, their mobility is different. I try to gear the stocking to their needs.”

Last year with dropboxes in Cold Lake and Bonnyville, seniors in the Lakeland received 244 stockings, thanks to generous donations and sibling’s challenges at Cold Lake Elementary School and Cold Lake Ice AAA.

The need

Evans cited stats that 73 per cent of seniors 65 and older are suffering from some sort of isolation.

But for her, the idea came from personal loss.

“Last November, I had just lost my father in December and previously lost my stepmom and my mom within three years,” she said.

“I wanted to adopt a senior to give them Christmas like I would give my mom.

“I started going around with the program. And I discovered very quickly that there wasn’t such a thing in the area.”

The partnership with the Cold Lake Age-Friendly Society has Evans hoping they can deliver more holiday cheer this Christmas to lessen that isolation.

She is raising money from items sold by donation to get the stockings for December.

As well as Christmas trees at the C2 and Cold Lake Chamber of Commerce, there will be drop boxes in both communities for handmade or new items.

To get in touch to help with Stockings for Seniors, contact Sandra Evans at [email protected]

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.