Seniors Centre, VON organize senior holiday stocking program

MOUNT FOREST – The Seniors Centre for Excellence (SCE) and the Victorian Order of Nurses Waterloo Wellington Dufferin – Mount Forest office (VONWWD) are teaming up for the third year to provide stockings for seniors across North and Centre Wellington who find themselves alone this Christmas.

“Community members make donations for seniors who are isolated. Perhaps they’re going through an illness or they’ve lost their spouse. We just want to make sure [they] know that they’re not alone and that people are thinking about them at this time of year,” said SCE program coordinator Helen Edwards.

Forty-two seniors will receive stockings as part of the program this year. For some of those, receiving the stocking will be a surprise.

“Some of them know, some of them it’s a surprise,” said VON support worker Stephanie Warner.

The VON’s major contribution is identifying seniors in need and helping to distribute the stockings.

“I think the identification of people is key. And because the stockings are stuffed mostly by seniors, for seniors, it actually is things that seniors need,” said Edwards.

“We do try and personalize [them]. If we know they have a dog or a cat, we like to put something in for them. And we have things like new socks, some goodies, pocketbook calendars … little things that we can put in that are also useful.”.

Edwards, Warner and VONWWD program coordinator Kelly Ellis say they are always adding to their list of recipients. They encourage those who know of a senior who would benefit from the program to contact VONWWD at 519-323-2330 or the SCE at 519-638-1000.

“There’s a need in the community at this time of year,” said Edwards.