With nearly triple as many seniors receiving gifts as last year, the Adopt a Grandparent initiative is proving to be a popular and successful event in the Comox Valley.
Around 75 seniors from Casa Loma Seniors Village and Glacier View Lodge received gifts in 2016 when the program started.
But this year, the number of seniors to receive gifts will increase to 233.
Furthermore, Cumberland Lodge has joined the program as well.
Fifteen-year-old Royston resident Breanna Brosko started the Adopt-a-Grandparent project last year after realizing she would not be able to visit her great-grandfather for Christmas.
“He lives in Kamloops so it’s not very doable,” she said. “That got me thinking about how many grandparents there are out there who don’t get to see family during Christmas. They don’t receive the presents and joy that others do.”
Those interested in “adopting a grandparent” can visit Jo Klassen’s restaurant in Glacier View Plaza or the Finders Keep Hers boutique on Fifth Street, where two Christmas trees are set up. On the trees’s branches hang various “tags” with the age and gender of a specific senior citizen, as well as a description of a gift they would be excited to receive.
“We had one woman who wanted pictures of George Clooney — that was our favourite,” said Brosko. “You can go out, get the gift, and bring it back wrapped.”
The gifts will be held at South Courtenay Storage and distributed on Dec. 23 by the Cumberland Pathfinders, which Brosko is a member of.
“We’re being sponsored by South Courtenay Storage. They’re holding all of the gifts for us this year, which is amazing because there’s no room for 233 presents in my house,” she said.
One Comox Valley resident that took part last year is Brittany Adcock, who will do so again this year.
“I think it’s a great way to give back to the seniors,” she said. “A lot of times they are forgotten by people, especially around Christmastime. They’re so grateful to get any little thing.
“It’s just an easy way to give back to people.”
The program is meant to be anonymous.