Southampton Care Centre held an open house to support their local food bank. Above: Salvation Army community and family services co-ordintator Ashley Armstrong, resident Marg McKay, adminstrator Brenda Ohm, resident Thelma Murphy, staff member Cathy Anness and her grandson Logan Anness
Homes hold Christmas fundraisers to benefit local charities
Events opportunity for residents and staff to contribute
The spirit of Christmas giving is alive and well in Ontario’s long-term care homes as residents and staff hold food drives and other fundraisers to support local charities in their communities.
The Resident Council at Southampton Care Centre, a Jarlette-owned long-term care home, held an open house Dec. 4 featuring live entertainment and festive food. Participants were asked to donate one non-perishable food item in support of the local food bank.
The event garnered $200 for the food bank and more than 150 pounds of food.
In addition to giving back to the community, Andrea Hodgkins, resident and family services and volunteer co-ordinator, says the event had the value-added benefit of providing an avenue for residents to contribute in a meaningful way.
“I think it makes the residents feel like they are still involved in community efforts and it certainly makes them feel good to be able to provide for other people in a capacity where they probably used to do quite frequently,” she says.
Hodgkins adds the ramifications of holding such an event are two-fold for the home.
“It allows us to recognize that (the residents') efforts are still very much valued within the community and I know that the food bank certainly appreciates it.”
Residents and staff wrapping Christmas gifts at Southampton Care Centre.
At Chateau Gardens in London, a Chartwell REIT-owned long-term care home, the family council is sponsoring a food drive for the month of December.
Maureen Cook, life-enrichment and volunteer services director, says families are bringing in food for residents to contribute, which instils a sense of pride in the residents.
“It’s a way for them to still be a part of the community — they are still active members,” she says, adding the home participates in a number of fundraisers throughout the year including the Alzheimer’s Society Memory Walk and events with the Osteoporosis Society.
In addition to raising more than $600 for a local mission’s holiday dinner, staff members from Heron Terrace Long Term Care Community decided to adopt a family for Christmas — a new initiative that is strengthening team work among staff members and residents alike.
Staff members decided to adopt a family instead of buying Christmas gifts for each other. The Windsor long-term care home, owned by S&R Nursing Homes Ltd., has since been tasked to buying items from the family’s wish list, including a grocery gift card and new comforters for the children’s beds.
Shelly Lusk, a personal care worker, says the excitement of buying for the family quickly spilled over to the residents.
“They are not able to get out and do this kind of thing for themselves and whenever there is anything like that posted they like to contribute,” she says. “It brings everyone together.”
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