Local seniors will get a gift for Christmas thanks to Family Services of Central Alberta.
For the 14th year, the nonprofit organization has kicked off its Gifts for Grandparents program, which collects donations to provide gift bags to isolated seniors in central Alberta.
“Through the holidays, we always make sure we’re taking care of children and families with different organizations doing different things,” said Judy Scott, FSCA executive director.
“Seniors were kind of left out of that. We do work with a lot of seniors so we recognized many of them were isolated or their family is far away. We wanted to make sure they felt loved at Christmas, so we started Gifts for Grandparents.”
The program has been particularly successful in the past couple of years – in 2021, there were nearly 700 gift bags brought to central Alberta seniors.
“The seniors are just so thrilled to know somebody is thinking about them,” Scott said.
“It’s really a gift of appreciation – they’ll get cookies, crackers, candy and chocolate. Everybody gets a blanket too, because we all need to have a nice snuggle every now and then. … Everyone gets treats, a blanket and something to do in their gift bag.”
FSCA is looking for donations of store-bought cookies, boxed chocolates, crackers, bags of individually wrapped candies including diabetic candy, gift cards to Walmart, Superstore or any grocery store, or cash.
Donations can be brought to the FSCA main office (5409 50 Ave.), the Clearview Shoppers Drug Mart, the Bower Mall Shoppers Drug Mart, and the Village Mall Shoppers Drug Mart. The last day for donations is Dec. 14.
Gifts for Grandparents wouldn’t be possible without support from community members, businesses, social groups, schools and more, Scott noted.
“We have a 4H group going into the West Park lodge. Every year they sing carols and have cookies. For the kids and everyone involved, along with the seniors, they all feel the sense of the (Christmas) season and the connection. It’s a really warm feeling,” said Scott.
For more information on Gifts for Grandparents, visit www.fsca.ca or call 403-343-6400.