Karissa Spence, the caregiver educator at Home Instead’s Courtenay location, shows an ornament from the Be A Santa to a Senior tree at the Courtenay office, at 350 17th St, Suite 3. Photo supplied

Karissa Spence, the caregiver educator at Home Instead’s Courtenay location, shows an ornament from the Be A Santa to a Senior tree at the Courtenay office, at 350 17th St, Suite 3. Photo supplied

Courtenay home care business launching ‘Be a Santa to a Senior’ initiative

The Home Instead office in Courtenay is launching its Be A Santa to a Senior program, which supports older adults who may be overlooked, isolated or alone during the holiday season.

This is the first year for the local program that collects gifts from local donors to share with older adults to bring them joy during what can be a lonely holiday for some.

Be a Santa to a Senior trees with ornaments will be on display at the Home Instead office, at 350 17th St, Suite 3. Each ornament includes a local senior’s gift request, such as slippers or a blanket. The gifts collected, which are often necessity items such as toiletries, clothing and blankets, make a big impact and help seniors combat the holiday blues.

“We’ve all experienced feelings of loneliness during the pandemic, and seniors are at a particularly high risk for isolation,” said Tracie Robertson, owner of the Home Instead office in Courtenay “Be a Santa to a Senior shows the older adults in our community that they are valued and thought of during the holidays.”

Gifts will be delivered to seniors in time for the holidays. Shoppers are encouraged to purchase as many gifts for seniors as they would like.

The program is open to all seniors in the Valley, so if anyone knows a senior who would benefit from the Be A Santa to a Senior program, contact the Home Instead Courtenay office with the pertinent information (recipient’s name, address, and gift ideas).

“We are trying to get as many names as possible – we are hoping that the community will reach out,” said Robertson. “We have two churches… and we are accepting names.”

The program is not limited to Home Instead clients.

“Not at all – this is not client-related in any way,” said Robertson. “This is a community (program).”

The deadline to pick up an “ornament” is Dec. 10. Once the gifts have been purchased, they can be returned to the Courtenay Home Instead office, where volunteers will do all the wrapping, and take care of delivering all the presents.

Home Instead has run the program corporately since 2003, however, the Courtenay location has only been in operation for two years.

“Home Instead has done this for quite a few years, so I am excited to finally bring it to the Valley,” said Robertson. “I’ve only had the franchise here for two years now. The first year was very new to me, and the second year we were really battling COVID, so that was tricky. So I felt this year it was really important for me to get (involved).”

Since 2003, the company-wide initiative has supplied 750,000 seniors throughout North America with more than two million gifts.

For more information about the program, visit BeaSantatoaSenior.com or call 250-338-0554.

A similar program is being launched at the Home Instead Nanaimo office.

ALSO: Comox Valley Santa’s Workshop in need of bicycles and volunteers


terry.farrell@comoxvalleyrecord.com
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