St. John’s enterprise spreads Christmas cheer by sending Santa to the seniors’ house

St. John’s enterprise spreads Christmas cheer by sending Santa to the seniors’ house

5 years in the past, when Kayleigh Reynolds was visiting her grandmother in a seniors’ house at Christmas, she was shocked to be taught lots of the residents had little to no household to go to them across the holidays.

A nurse instructed her it was as much as the nursing house to offer the residents with Christmas cheer.

“What they obtained was principally solely what the nursing house gave to them. And that broke my coronary heart,” Reynolds instructed CBC Information in a current interview.

After her dialog with the nurse, Reynolds, the proprietor of the St. John’s-based enterprise Maid to Sparkle, created the initiative Santa to a Senior. 

“I reached out to the director and requested if there was something I might do to assist. And Santa to a Senior was born.” 

An old polaroid picture shows a woman in jeans and a polka-dot shirt sitting on a brown couch.
Kayleigh’s grandmother, Margaret, was an inspiration for Santa to a Senior. (Submitted by Kayleigh Reynolds)

Offering care and cheer 

Now celebrating its fifth yr, Santa to a Senior gives care packages and presents to residents of seniors’ houses. 

In 2021, they helped 28 seniors. The quantity has risen yearly — she thinks it’s going to be greater than 30 this yr — and so have the donations and partnerships. 

“It appears to have gotten a whole lot of momentum because the years go on,” Reynolds mentioned.

For the final three years, Santa to a Senior has labored with Seniors N.L. to offer the service, and companies attain out with donations of cash, objects and their very own time. 

Donations embody necessities like toothpaste or shampoo in addition to leisure objects like video games, puzzles and books. The Brownies part of the Woman Guides of Canada have written letters and made artwork to ship to the seniors prior to now.

The explanation for the season

A selection of letters in envelopes with Merry Christmas in children's writing.
An area group of Brownies have despatched letters to seniors in earlier years of the initiative. (Submitted by Kayleigh Reynolds)

Reynolds credit her grandmother, Margaret Parrott — probably the most giving individuals she has ever met, she says — as a driving pressure of the initiative. When Reynolds defined the concept to her, Margaret was supportive and excited.

“She cherished it, she’s a giant helper of all people,” mentioned Reynolds.

After her grandmother died in 2020, Reynolds renamed the fundraiser Margaret’s Santa to Senior in her honour. 

Reynolds says the drive is her favorite a part of Christmas. Understanding she’s a part of somebody’s comfortable Christmas morning is “every thing” to her, she mentioned.

She remembers one recipient who waited to open her bag so she had one thing to open on Christmas morning.

“That was the tearjerker for me. That was the second I knew that that is what I used to be speculated to do.” 

The deadline for donating to Santa to a Senior is Saturday.

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