Seniors Secret Service Society

Seniors Secret Service Society

October 17, 2013 11:46 ET

Shortage of Secret Santas Jeopardizes Christmas for 700 Isolated Calgary Seniors

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Oct. 17, 2013) - For the past 28 years, Seniors Secret Service has been providing gifts to isolated seniors at Christmas. This year however, the agency is facing a huge shortfall of over 700 adopters or "Secret Santas".

"This is the first time in our history that we have had this large of a shortage of adopters," says Greta Martin, President of the society. "In previous years we have had the opposite problem and have had to turn away potential Secret Santas. We are concerned that this will impact our ability to provide gifts and recognition to seniors who otherwise might be overlooked during the holidays."

While a large number of previous adopters are returning, many of both our Corporate and Individual sponsors are choosing to sponsor fewer seniors this year, a move some have attributed to generous financial contributions during the flood crisis.

Secret Santas are provided with a profile for their senior, which outlines the senior's name, age and suggested gifts.

Seniors Secret Service is looking to Calgarians for support. If you are interested in adopting a senior this Christmas, please contact the Coordinator, Andrea Brumwell at coordinator@seniorssecretservice.com or at 403-257-8339.

If you would like to make a financial contribution towards the Christmas Cheer program, you may do so online by visiting Canada Helps at https://www.canadahelps.org/dn/12473 or if you prefer, donations may be sent directly to the organization at Suite #1, 6025 12 ST SE Calgary AB T2K 2K1.

"The gratitude that the seniors have for the program is why we have done it for the past 28 years," says Martin. "Just a small gift can improve the health and well-being of a person." "No one should be forgotten at Christmas."

In 2012, the Christmas Cheer program provided gifts to 2582 isolated seniors, who live in 75 area care facilities and seniors residences as well as isolated seniors living in their own homes, identified through a partner senior service agency. We also have 18 Seniors who will celebrating 100 + Christmases this year!

For more information or to learn how you can help, please visit www.seniorssecretservice.com or visit our Facebook page, Seniors Secret Service.

Backgrounder

  • Since 1985, Seniors Secret Service (SSS) has supported seniors with the help of anonymous donors willing to provide personalized and thoughtful gifts at Christmas.

  • SSS has a strong relationship with seniors' groups, housing facilities, outreach programs, Meals on Wheels and healthcare providers in Calgary and area.

  • Members of these groups eagerly participate in the program, providing anonymous personal profiles of isolated seniors to SSS, indicating the seniors' age, gender, hobbies, needs and preferences.

  • Once SSS receives the anonymous profiles, they pair them with an equal number of volunteer Secret Santa's from the Calgary area.

  • More than 40 corporate groups and 400 individuals sign-up to purchase a gift for their special senior.

  • Several Calgary Police Services district offices collect the gifts. The presents are then sorted in a warehouse donated by a member of the business community and checked off the list by volunteers. This process ensures that no senior is forgotten.

  • The gifts are delivered to the caregivers by West Direct Express, whom donates their services.

  • Caregivers pass out the gifts to their seniors, ensuring everyone has something to celebrate during the holidays.

  • In 2009, the Cheer All Year program was launched to provide birthday gifts to isolated seniors.

  • In 2011, Seniors Secret Service was adopted as the new name (formerly Santa's Secret Service) to reflect the broader programs offered by the society.

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