'They're truly making a difference': Halifax community group prepares hundreds of Easter baskets for seniors
HALIFAX -- A community group in Halifax is preparing Easter baskets for seniors in hopes of bringing them joy around the holiday weekend.
"I've got the volunteers that are doing the drops offs and then I probably have about 15 individuals that will help me put together the baskets. We've created a village of helpers," said Robyn Carruthers, the creator of Santas for Seniors.
The Halifax-based community group, Santas for Seniors, has been delivering packages to the elderly each Christmas for about 10 years.
During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the group wanted to do something special for seniors who were going through very difficult times.
They decided they would deliver Easter baskets containing items like sweets, personal care items, children's artwork and much more.
The baskets had such a positive effect on the seniors the group decided to create them for the second year in a row.
Carruthers says she's made a commitment to put together 250 baskets to send to five different senior care facilities, but she's willing to do more if she can.
"If there's someone in your neighbourhood, someone in your church, someone in your building, we are more than happy to add them to the list," said Carruthers.
Oakwood Terrace Nursing Home in Dartmouth, N.S. is one of the five long-term care homes that has received donations from Santas for Seniors in the past. They are also in line for some of this year's Easter baskets.
Claudia Norris was one of the residents on Santa's list last year.
"I always tell them not to bother but they always give it to me and I appreciate it so much," said Norris.
Oakwood Terrace currently houses 108 residents. Recreation Therapist Gary Comeau says each one is in line to receive an Easter basket this month.
"They are so happy, and gives them so much joy," said Comeau. "We can't thank them enough. They're truly making a difference in these residents' lives. Their happiness is going up, their quality of life is improving," said Comeau.
Item donations for the basket program can be dropped off at a number of locations around the Halifax Regional Municipality, which are listed on the group’s Facebook page.
Donations will be accepted until March 22. The baskets will be delivered on March 27.