The Face of Cassia

A woman holds up a game of Rummikub that she received as a present.

Bringing Joy: The Adopt a Senior for Christmas Program

Who doesn’t enjoy the excitement of unwrapping a holiday gift?

At Haven Homes, Jordan, the therapeutic activity director & volunteer coordinator, believes everyone should experience the happiness of unwrapping a present at Christmas.

That’s why she created the Adopt a Senior for Christmas program at Haven Homes. Her goal is to make sure every resident feels the warmth and joy of the holiday season.

“We wanted a fun way to spread joy to all our residents during the holidays,” she says.

“Almost everyone’s tradition around Christmas is gathering with family and opening gifts. It started because most of our long-term-care residents may not be able to travel to these celebrations any longer [or] may not have family left or near to celebrate with or receive gifts from. We wanted to create a joyful tradition for all our residents at Haven Homes.”

Since its launch in 2018, the Adopt a Senior for Christmas program at Haven Homes has thrived. Partnering with the community, they’ve touched the lives of more than 200 seniors. This year, they aim to bring joy to more than 150 residents, spreading warmth and happiness to a larger group than ever before!

The process begins with residents creating wish lists. Community members—individuals, families, and businesses—then sign up, each paired with a wish list to fulfill.

These kind-hearted volunteers go shopping, carefully select items from the lists, wrap the gifts and deliver them to Haven Homes. The staff then distribute these presents during the annual Christmas party.

“Each year they are so surprised even though they know they are supposed to be getting a gift,” Jordan says.

“They are surprised by the generosity of how much of their list is in their gift and they are surprised that it comes from ‘strangers’ in our community. The joy we see on their faces through the whole Christmas party makes it all worth it!”

Each gift brings comfort and joy to the residents, ranging from cozy clothing like sweaters, pajamas and socks to delightful snacks such as popcorn, cookies and beverages. Some residents ask for plants, flowers, hand towels, soap, lotion or even a new blanket, book or brain game.

“We are so grateful for everyone who has contributed to this program in the past and in the future,” Jordan says. “Thank you for contributing to the program not just so our seniors can open a Christmas gift, but so they feel seen and supported by the community.”

We want to offer a heartfelt thank you to Jordan and the dedicated team at Haven Homes. Thank you for your commitment to ensuring residents have a memorable and joy-filled holiday season.