Christmas cheer drive to help seniors in Brockville, Ont. planned for Nov. 13 & 14

BROCKVILLE, ONT. — A special Christmas event is being planned in Brockville next weekend to help local seniors and it’s easy to get involved and show off your Christmas spirit.

The senior support services (CPHC) has teamed up with 1000 Islands Toyota to collect items which will be given to seniors over the holiday season.

“At CPHC, there is a lot of loneliness and isolation and we just want to be able to give back a little bit of community support and kindness and compassion to our seniors,” said CPHC volunteer Kate Riles.

“Our primary goal is to support the independence of seniors in their homes and in their communities, and we’re hoping that we can bring the community to them again this holiday season,” added Sarah Dodgson, Volunteer Resources & Engagement at CPHC.

Many seniors in Leeds & Grenville may not be able to visit family and friends over the holidays due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The idea for the Christmas Cheer drive came from the success of the spring and summer food drives in the region. The Christmas Cheer drive will follow the same route.

Items they are looking for include homemade Christmas cards, stockings, puzzles, ornaments, and any small thing a senior would benefit from during the holiday season.

“We’re going to take the stockings that we collect as well as the handmade cards, bring them back to our office, and then we are going to deliver them closer to Christmas to a lot of our seniors that are struggling over the holidays and are a little more isolated,” said Dodgson.

Handmade Christmas cards

Residents are being asked to drop off the items at their front step or curb where volunteers will pick them up.

“A lot of things have been cancelled and that’s been hard. Easter didn’t look the same. The summer didn’t look the same. Nothing has looked the same,” Riles said. “Christmas is still not going to look the same but we look for tradition, we look for Christmas spirit and, ultimately, we look for kindness.”

“We’ll be delivering them right to the comfort of their own home so they have a little of a bit of a sense of community around Christmas time.” added Dodgson.

1000 Island Toyota is loaning vehicles for the parade. Chris Walker said they couldn’t turn down the partnership after the success of the food bank drives earlier this year. 

“I was very surprised to learn about all of the different services that these organizations provide to our local community,” Walker said.

“There will be a lot of seniors who are going to be unable to see friends and, most importantly, family over the holidays, so being able to provide them some cheer during a difficult time is something that we couldn’t say no to.” he added. “We’ve got a lot of seniors in this community that occasionally need that helping hand. They’ve been good enough to help this community out and I think it’s only right that we return the favour and support them.”

“You know, in Brockville, we are community strong. We’ve always been that way. I think that’s how we’ve gotten through the pandemic (so far),” said Riles. “In these times we just have to be a little bit more creative to still give the kindness, to still give the compassion back that we all have and we’ve all shown time and time again.”

Items can also be donated by calling CPHC at (613) 342-4076.

More information on the Christmas Cheer drive can be found on the CPHC Facebook page.

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