Article content continued
“He just didn’t have any friends or family nearby to provide gifts.”
This year in particular, as seniors homes remain locked down to the outside world because of the pandemic, Louvel said it becomes even more crucial for seniors without nearby friends or family to know they are not forgotten this holiday season.
“I think this is the probably the most important year we’ve ever run a program like this. There are so many people in care who just really have no hope,” he said.
“They don’t have a way to leave. They don’t have people to interact with, so they’re trapped in that home.”
But because of the strict pandemic restrictions around visitors in care homes, Louvel said the gift-giving will look very different this year. Instead of dropping off individual gifts requested by the seniors, Santa for Seniors will be donating all money raised directly to the care homes.
He said many of the organization’s partner care homes are already brainstorming ideas of what they could do with the money, including putting on a Christmas celebration, ordering gifts for each resident or purchasing a couple of tablets to allow for more video calls. One home is even considering purchasing indoor curling equipment.
“That would allow the seniors to get some exercise and have some interaction within the home,” Louvel said.
To raise money this year, Louvel has set up a GoFundMe with the goal of raising $25,000. As of Tuesday, he had already collected more than $6,000. Anyone who would rather send an e-transfer can do that using the email santaforseniorsSK@hotmail.com.