Elves for Elders gifting ‘love and caring’
LYNN CURWIN SPECIAL TO THE TRURO NEWS
TRURO, NS – The United Way is offering people the opportunity to make Christmas a little brighter for seniors in the community. The organization’s Elves for Elders program provides gifts for elders who might not otherwise have something to open on Christmas morning. “We work with coordinators at facilities to identify folks who don’t have a lot of engagement with the outside world,” said Heather Hamilton, office and community engagement coordinator with the United Way of Colchester. “They identify something the people really want so we’re able to personalize the gift as much as possible. That way, the seniors feel someone has purchased a gift especially for them and they feel more connected to the community.” The program began in 2015, when an employee at one of the local homes identified a need. A small group of people provided some residents with gifts that year but, knowing the situation wasn’t unique, reached out to the United Way about expanding things the following year. The organization is now working with six facilities, as well as other agencies helping community members. The program is growing a little every year, and this season will provide gifts for about 125 seniors, an increase of about 20 over last year. People who want to provide a gift can pick a tag, with the senior’s gift wish written on it, from one of the United Way trees. They can then deliver the unwrapped gift to the United Way office (90 Esplanade, Suite 2). “People often add something extra, like a card or a treat,’ said Hamilton. “It’s important that it be new and unwrapped. It can be in a gift bag, but we get financial donations and purchase bags for those not in one. “This is a great way for people to share holiday cheer. It’s a wonderful program, full of love and caring, and we often hear back about how thrilled the recipients were.” Tags can be picked from United Way Giving Trees at the Truro Farmers’ Market, Truro Mall, Community Credit Union, Clay Café, Alderberry Village and Classic Rentals.