Donations were starting to be collected on Monday for the fourth annual Santa for Seniors in Redcliff.
“We collect donations for Redcliff seniors that are alone or may need an extra Christmas surprise,” said Stacey Craats, Santa for Seniors organizer.
It was as recent as three years ago that only three seniors were signed up, the second year had eight and last year 26.
“Every year gets more seniors, more people involved,” said Craats.
“I have a lady out in Suffield that has five seniors she wants to nominate. This year might be a bigger year for us, so hopefully we get some extra donations.”
She anticipates it to be a bigger year because of more seniors being stuck at home because of COVID.
“They don’t get out as much anymore, so they need some cheering up,” said Craats.
Donations come from the community, people who follow the Santa for Seniors Facebook page and people who see the posters in the stores.
“It’s all volunteers in Redcliff that help me wrap presents, bring donations, hand out flyers,” she said.
“I get more volunteers than I actually need. People want to help out and do what they can. It’s awesome because everybody takes a little part in the process. People love to deliver the packages, to actually hand the seniors their gifts and see their faces and interact with them-that’s their favourite part.”
If people want to register a senior, they can pick forms up at the Redcliff Home Hardware, Town Hall and the Redcliff Public Library or message Craats on the Santa for Seniors Facebook page.
If there is a special request from seniors, a tag is filled out and hung on the tree at the library.
“Some people from Redcliff will come and pick a tag off the tree and buy specifically for a senior,” said Craats.
Donations can be dropped off from Nov. 16 to Dec. 18 at the library.
Packages will be assembled on Dec. 18 and then will be delivered on Dec. 19 and 20.
“When we assemble the packages, it’ll be my family with me and we’ll put everything into gift bags,” she said.
“Then when we deliver the packages-obviously wearing masks –we’ll tell the seniors to wait until Christmas to open.”