Amica Georgetown seniors prepare holiday baskets for Amica Helping Hands to support local seniors in need.

 

It was a chilly day when the residents at Amica Georgetown came together to give some warmth back to the greater community by creating gift baskets that would be delivered to vulnerable seniors. Working together at the residence in support of the Amica Helping Hands Charity annual holiday campaign, they carefully filled each basket with about $100 worth of items, from nonperishable food and personal care products to gift cards and a warm blanket. They all knew, in theory, these deliveries might brighten the day of underprivileged seniors. When the residence received a thank-you letter, the residents actually saw the profound impact of their volunteer work — receiving his gift moved one senior to tears.

Creating opportunities for residents to give back is something we’ve been doing for many years at Amica. We understand that seniors may be initially reluctant to consider retirement living because they’re afraid it means giving up their independence and losing a sense of purpose. That’s one of many great surprises they discover after moving to Amica: with staff taking care of cooking, cleaning, chores and maintenance, they’re actually more free than ever to find purpose in whatever activities they consider meaningful. That’s one reason we established the Amica Helping Hands Charity in 2003, to help seniors to support their peers in need by providing them with goods, funds and services — through our Compassionate Fund — to thrive.

That’s exactly what happened when an Amica Helping Hands Charity gift basket made its way to one local man. He received his gift through our partnership with Acclaim Health, a charity that supports seniors in Halton with home and community care programs. Here’s the moving thank-you letter we received from Laura, a staff member at Acclaim Health, who described what happened when a coordinator brought a basket to her client through the agency’s friendly visiting program.

“This client is a very emotional person, has multiple health issues on top of early dementia and is also grieving the loss of his dog. He was so touched that someone would put together such a wonderful collection of things for someone they didn’t know and he cried when he heard we chose him to have one. He laughed when he saw the huge jar of peanut butter and joked that he and his wife could make peanut butter cookies for the neighbourhood! He also said, more somberly, that his dog would have loved that peanut butter.

“He went through the rest of the basket commenting on the items and delighting in all the stuff it contained for him. He said someone must have packed it just for him because they knew he’d need the whole box of Kleenex just to get through it all. He cried often when going through the basket but he said it has been a long time since he has felt so special and since he’s had such a good laugh and been able to remember some of the stories he shared about his dog. He thanked Amica for the delightful gift. At first he felt undeserving but by the end he absolutely loved everything about it.

“What was meant to be a dropoff and a short Merry Christmas wish turned into an hour-and-a-half visit, but it was also a gift to me to see him so happy, thanks to Amica.

Thanks for all the good you’re putting into the world! We’re so happy to partner with Amica Georgetown!”

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