Some Delta seniors will have a little something extra under the tree this year, thanks to a partnership between DeltAssist and Bria Communities.
This local version of the Santa for Seniors initiative started in 2019 as part of DeltAssist’s toy drive and food hamper program. Seniors who sign up for DeltAssist food hampers can also request a special gift to be hand-delivered just before Christmas. This year, 30 seniors asked to be included in the program, up from 17 in 2021.
“It’s not just kids and families who need extra support at this time of the year. Seniors do too,” says Annie Bakehouse, Community Outreach Coordinator for The Waterford and The Wexford in Tsawwassen. She notes that this year with high grocery prices, buying something extra for Christmas is impossible for many seniors with limited incomes. “We love making Christmas a bit more special and providing a gift they wouldn’t normally get themselves.”
When DeltAssist signs a senior up for the program, Andie swings into action. She works with residents and staff at The Waterford and The Wexford to purchase specific gifts, bake cookies, wrap and hand-deliver gift bags loaded with presents and goodies.
Most of the gifts requested help seniors stay warm: heating pads, throw blankets, socks and slippers, “Each year, I’m surprised at how people aren’t asking for luxuries. They’re asking for real things that matter for their day-to-day lives,” says Andie.
The gifts are warmly received. “I love doing the deliveries. The folks getting the gifts are so incredibly grateful, and they almost always invite us in for a cup of tea.” Andie says. “It’s heartwarming and so lovely to see these seniors with huge smiles. It’s what Christmas is all about.”