Chilliwack Minor Hockey players help collect donations as people drop off gifts for the Adopt-A-Senior program at Main Street Church in Chilliwack on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Chilliwack Minor Hockey players help collect donations as people drop off gifts for the Adopt-A-Senior program at Main Street Church in Chilliwack on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Adopt-A-Senior brings Christmas to more than 1,000 seniors in Chilliwack

‘These seniors are loved and cared for by strangers,’ says organizer Crystal Holek

Christmas is going to be brighter for more than 1,000 Chilliwack seniors thanks to a caring and generous community.

A steady stream of cars stopped by Main Street Church on Saturday, Dec. 18 dropping off bag after bag of gifts for Adopt-A-Senior.

It’s an initiative started by Crystal Holek of Chilliwack last year to bring Christmas gifts to lonely seniors. In 2020, more than 700 seniors were “adopted” and this year it was more than 1,000.

“I’m blown away by the kindness and care that this community is showing our seniors,” Holek said.

READ MORE: Chilliwack Adopt-A-Senior gearing up for a second season of giving

Holek no longer has any living grandparents and she thought about how hard it would have been for her grandmother had she been around and isolated last year during the pandemic. She recalled reading stories about family members not being able to visit their elderly loved ones in care homes.

“”It broke my heart. I just felt helpless and I wanted to do something.”

She posted her idea on social media expecting a handful of friends to join her. Adopt-A-Senior grew bigger than she ever could have imagined.

Each senior is matched with a donor. The gift-givers are given the senior’s name, likes, interests and dislikes.

“The donations coming in are amazing. The care packages, you can tell, were put together with so much love.”

The Adopt-A-Senior gifts will be handed out to folks in retirement home as well as those living on their own. They’ll receive them between Tuesday, Dec. 21 and Christmas Eve.

“For us, it’s all about building connection, it’s not about the gift,” Holek said. “These seniors are loved and cared for by strangers which is amazing.”

Chilliwack Minor Hockey players help collect donations as people drop off gifts for the Adopt-A-Senior program at Main Street Church in Chilliwack on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Chilliwack Minor Hockey players help collect donations as people drop off gifts for the Adopt-A-Senior program at Main Street Church in Chilliwack on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)


 

@PhotoJennalism
jenna.hauck@theprogress.com

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