Red Deer’s Vada Jade Alton-MacNeil, 5, has helped seniors during isolation by skyping with them and sending them stories and pictures. She was recognized by the Alberta government’s Northern Lights Volunteer Recognition program this week. (Photo courtesy of Alberta.ca)

Five-year-old Red Deer girl recognized by province for helping seniors

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep many vulnerable people isolated, Red Deer’s Vada Jade Alton-MacNeil decided to brighten spirits.

Just after her fifth birthday, the youngster was concerned about local seniors being lonely due to social distancing measures brought on by the pandemic.

With the help of her mother, Mindy, they contacted Golden Circle Seniors Resource Centre, and things took off from there.

Alton-MacNeil sends stories and pictures that she draws, which then get emailed and shared with the centre’s 1,500 members. She has also skyped with one of the seniors at Golden Circle who does not have any family.

“I followed up with (Mindy) and said, ‘absolutely, if she wants to send us stuff, we can put it in our weekly email and brighten everybody’s day,’” said Monica Morrison, executive director at the Golden Circle.

For her efforts, Alton-MacNeil was nominated as part of the Northern Lights Volunteer Recognition program, one that the Alberta government started during the pandemic to honour “everyday heroes who are making life better in communities across the province.”

Morrison added the letters and pictures have been well received by the seniors and she was thrilled that Alton-MacNeil was doing her best to help at such a young age.

“For a five-year-old to be so concerned about seniors, I find that really touching,” Morrison said.

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Red Deer’s Vada Jade Alton-MacNeil, 5, has helped seniors during isolation by skyping with them and sending them stories and pictures. She was recognized by the Alberta government’s Northern Lights Volunteer Recognition program this week. (Photo courtesy of Alberta.ca)

Red Deer’s Vada Jade Alton-MacNeil, 5, has helped seniors during isolation by skyping with them and sending them stories and pictures. She was recognized by the Alberta government’s Northern Lights Volunteer Recognition program this week. (Photo courtesy of Alberta.ca)

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