Local group looking for sponsors

BRENDYN CREAMER TRURO NEWS brendyn.creamer @saltwire.com



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TRURO — Christmas may typically be seen as the time for giving, but Robyn Carruthers and the folks she organizes with, through Santa's for Seniors, have decided to prepare some Easter treats for local seniors. "We started doing Santa's for Seniors just during Christmas, so we would adopt seniors at Christmas," said Carruthers. "We basically expanded outside the HRM (Halifax Regional Municipality) area because there was a need." This expansion out of Halifax leads the organization to partner with Mira Nursing Home in Truro. Now, they're looking for local contributors to sponsor seniors and help them prepare baskets. "We've been helping them for about five years. We do Christmas, Mother's Day, Father's Day and Easter baskets," Carruthers explained. "We're just trying to get more of the Truro community involved because a lot of times in the past, it has been people in HRM. "The Mira residents are like our family now, so every holiday we like to do something for them. There are 90 residents that we take care of." Carruthers started the Santa's for Seniors program 10 years ago. Since then, chapters have formed in Annapolis Valley and Queens County. She hopes that, with enough support, another chapter could open up in Colchester in the near future. "There are so many seniors that need help in the Halifax area that it'd be great if someone could eventually take on Truro. "We're just trying to make it as easy as possible for people to want to help," said Carruthers. So far, the process has been going well, said Carruthers. Truro local Dawn Sherry has been volunteering with Santa's for Seniors, and has been the drop-off point for Easter baskets in the area, Sherry has been working with the organization for the last four Christmas' but this is her first year helping with the Easter basket program. She commented on the program's effectiveness at helping seniors who suffer from loneliness during the holidays. "It helps to promote that sense of community and just being able to connect with people. Especially through COVID and things that have been happening over the last few years, to be able to still maintain that connection and knowing that people aren't alone — it's decreasing those feelings of isolation," said Sherry. Carruthers hopes, if they can fulfill their commitment to the Mira Nursing Home and establish a branch in Colchester, they could move on to other nursing homes, as well. She asks that sponsors put snacks appropriate for seniors, personal care items, as well as fun items that seniors would appreciate into their baskets. Children's artwork is also well-loved by the seniors. "They get really excited. We just did Christmas stockings for them, and they still talk about the stockings. "There's always these special touches, and people adopt for different reasons," Carruthers commented. "It makes the seniors smile, just to have someone thinking of them." "Sometimes we will get messages through the Facebook page, some cards, some thank yous, and it's always very appreciative. Some of them are quite emotional," Sherry added. Morganne Boomer, director of recreation services at the Mira, commented on the contributions they have recieved from the Santa's for Seniors program over the years. "Partnering with Santa's for Seniors has been a breath of fresh air for the Mira," said Boomer. "The organization and community members are inclusive, passionate, dependable, resourceful, selfless, communicative, and they take initiative to improve the quality of life of our residents. "I say with the utmost confidence that all our residents are forever grateful for the work that went into making these personalized gifts." To get involved, Carruthers asks that people check out their Facebook page or email them at santaforseniors1@gmail.com.