Local municipal governments are teaming up in encouraging locals to support a special Seniors’ Week project.
”The Town and County of Stettler have been partnering to celebrate Seniors’ Week for years now, but these celebrations certainly used to look a little different prior to the pandemic,” said Lara Angus, communications officer for the Town.
“Members of the Town and County councils used to have ‘social hours’ during each weekday of Seniors’ Week, where they would visit the facilitated living centres, socialize with residents, and deliver fruit trays,” she explained. “It was a great experience every year and we all truly miss the connection of in-person visits, but we are trying to adapt to the current circumstances. The Town and County councils both strongly felt that this tradition is too important to let slip.”
Angus said the idea for the care packages themselves was inspired by the Stettler Public Library.
“They have done an amazing job of putting together take-home activity kits for their patrons throughout the past year, and council agreed that this was a great way to engage with our seniors despite the distance,” she said.
“When we reached out to the professionals at these facilities, it was a commonly shared idea that what their residents enjoy the most are hand-made items, particularly from our local kids,” said Angus.
“There is something so special about receiving something that you know someone put love, work, and thought into. That’s why we are requesting drawings, small pieces of artwork, or letters, which will be added to a larger care package. We will be accepting these projects until our office closes at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, May 31st.”
Angus noted that ultimately, if this past year of the pandemic has shown us anything, “It is how important it is to make connections with those around us, and to make the time to show appreciation for the people in our lives.
“Our senior population has been one of the more isolated groups throughout this past year, and the Town and County councils wanted to find ways to show that even if we can’t be there in person to express it, they are all appreciated and valued community members,” she said.
“This is a particularly great opportunity for the kids in our community to participate, because every single piece of art or note that is shared will undoubtedly brighten someone’s day.”
Angus said that the Town and County always appreciate the chance to work together on community initiatives – especially when they yield such great results.
“I think that these partnerships just show what can be accomplished when groups in our community share the same goal and values. It is our first time partnering with the Stettler Public Library for Seniors’ Week, and they have truly gone above and beyond,” she noted. “When we approached them for assistance on the care packages, it was no easy task – to be exact, it was 280 individually-wrapped kits filled with items that our seniors’ would love.
“They didn’t hesitate and were happy to take on the challenge.”
Ultimately, Angus said she hopes that this project sparks some joy in everyone who participates – both the children who submit their projects and the residents who receive them.
“There is something so special about the bond between these different generations, and if it’s something that our organizations can work together to help facilitate during this difficult time, that is a win-win for everyone involved,” she said.
“When planning for this year’s Seniors’ Week started, the hope was that we could just make all of our residents feel special and appreciated at a time when we can’t share that with them directly,” said Angus.
“Once we sent out the initial call for help on this project to the public, I was honestly inspired to see how many people in our community embraced the idea by sharing the post, tagging their friends, passing the message along to other groups, and so on.
“It was a reminder of how tight-knit this community is and how willing our citizens are to pitch in to lift the spirits of those who might need it.”