A seasonal program to deliver Christmas gifts to low-income local seniors is back for another year.
The 6th annual Be a Santa to a Senior program was launched Tuesday at the Victoria General Hospital. The program delivered 1,100 gifts to seniors last year as older adults continue to face poverty and loneliness.
“Seniors are often the most isolated population at Christmas,” said Julie Donaldson, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Winnipeg. “Many times they do not have visitors during the holidays, compounded with decreased socialization this can be a very lonely time for them.”
New this year, the program is extending beyond Winnipeg to include Minnedosa.
“It is exciting to see that other communities have taken up this initiative so we can reach seniors that otherwise we could not,” Donaldson added.
The Social Planning Council of Winnipeg says 12.3 percent of Manitoba seniors 65 and older are living in poverty.
Those wishing to donate a Christmas gift to a senior can do so at their nearest tree locations at BeASantaWinnipeg.com. Gift requests are written on ornaments and can be returned to the location wrapped with the tag secured attached by December 2.