WINNIPEG — An annual program to deliver Christmas presents to seniors has launched for another holiday season.
The Be a Santa to a Senior program delivered 1,600 gifts to low income local seniors last year.
“Seniors are often the most isolated population at Christmas,” said Julie Donaldson, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care.
“Many times they do not have visitors during the holidays, compounded with decreased socialization this can be a very lonely time for them.”
The program is extending beyond Winnipeg this year by adding Minnedosa to participate in the program.
“It is exciting to see that other communities have taken up this initiative so we can reach seniors that otherwise we could not,” added Donaldson.
Statistics from the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg show 12.3 percent of Manitoba seniors 65 and older are living in poverty.
Struggling seniors can be matched with a gift donor when they visit Christmas tree locations at BeASantaWinnipeg.com. Donors choose an ornament with a gift request and return it to the location wrapped with the tag securely attached to the gift by December 2.