Manitoba Organises Christmas Cheer for Disadvantaged Seniors

Hundreds of Manitoba's senior citizens are without family, and many more are financially challenged. This makes for a bleak Christmas season for many elderly men and women. The organisations Home Instead, Senior Care and Age & Opportunity are therefore calling on Manitoba residents to extend the holiday cheer to the province's less fortunate seniors.

The `Be a Santa to a Senior' programme involves volunteers in giving isolated seniors a gift and a card for Christmas. Kerri Irvin Ross, Minister of Community and Development for Manitoba, launched the programme on Tuesday, and called on Manitobans to contribute their time and goodwill.

Last year's campaign delivered more than 276 gifts to elderly citizens around the region. This year the team hopes to hit the 500 mark.

To get involved, volunteers are asked to go to one of four locations hosting a `Be a Santa to a Senior' Christmas tree. Volunteers then pick an ornament from the tree to see which senior they will be buying a gift for. The suggested limit is $25 per gift. After volunteers have purchased them, they return it to the Christmas tree. Gifts are delivered along with hand-made cards from elementary school students.

The orgnaisation is accepting gifts until December 6, after which it is seeking volunteers to help gift-wrap (on December 8).