For the second year in a row, more than 1,000 seniors in Chilliwack will be given presents this Christmas thanks to generous gift-givers throughout the community.
Crystal Holek launched Adopt-A-Senior in 2020 as a way to bring gifts to lonely seniors during the first COVID Christmas.
In 2020, more than 700 seniors were ‘adopted.’ In 2021 it jumped to 1,050 and this year it increased a tiny bit to 1,100 seniors.
They partner with local care homes and seniors who live in their own private homes. Each senior is matched with a donor who is given the senior’s name, as well as their likes, interests and dislikes.
On the evening of Dec. 15 and all day Saturday, Dec. 17, those who adopted seniors dropped off their gifts at a local dance studio.
In addition to people who adopted seniors, nearly 60 volunteers and many local businesses helped make this year’s Adopt-A-Senior so successful.
A greenhouse in Abbotsford donated 100 poinsettias, one Chilliwack Realtor stopped by with $4,000 in Save-On-Foods gift cards, and various restaurants donated food for the volunteers including Jim’s Pizza and Greek Islands.
Youth volunteers with Project Dance, Chilliwack Chiefs, Fraser Valley Aces Hockey and Chilliwack Minor Hockey all helped out.
Holek extended a “huge thank you” to those who were involved.
“The community has totally pulled together,” she said.
The gifts ranged in price from about $50 to a few hundred dollars. Schools contributed as well by making handmade cards. There were homemade gifts donated and one person bought a TV as part of the gift for their adopted senior. There was no minimum spend requirement.
“It’s not about the money, it’s about the connection and making sure the senior knows someone is thinking about them.”
Holek had a huge smile on her face as she stood in the Project Dance studio room filled with hundreds of gifts on Dec. 17.
“It can be stressful to run the program,” she said. “But at the end of the day, when you’re standing in here and looking around and seeing it, it’s magic.”