Woman’s passion makes Christmas brighter for seniors

Emily Plihal
Local Journalism
Initiative Reporter

A local business owner hopes to make the Christmas of seniors in lodges a little brighter this year as they hold their annual Adopt-a-Senior campaign.
McLennan Home Hardware owner Marilynne Brulotte says her store teamed up with the Manoir du Lac and the two seniors’ manors in McLennan to ensure every senior in the lodges receive a special Christmas gift this year.
“I’d seen a similar program being run in Peace River where they started to give about a dozen people gifts through the holidays,” says Brulotte.
“I thought that there are so many seniors that do not have family locally and it would be nice if we could do something for them,” she adds.
Brulotte explains they started the Adopt-a-Senior campaign last year and it was well-received by members of the community. She says Manoir staff makes a list of all the seniors in the building identifying whether they are male or female, and they ask each senior what they may need or want for Christmas.
The two manors also provide a complete list of residents and identify whether they are male or female.
The two lists are then given to Home Hardware, and they hang cards from their Christmas tree with each senior’s identifying information.
“People can pick a card at Home Hardware, do the shopping for the gifts, put the items in a gift bag and then staple their card to the bag,” says Brulotte.
“Once all of the gifts are returned to our store, we will phone the seniors’ residences to pick them up for dispersal.”
In total, there are just fewer than 80 seniors at the three seniors’ lodges in McLennan. So far, approximately 50 of the cards have been taken by community members to purchase gifts for the seniors.
“We try to get everything organized by Nov. 7 or 8 and hope to have the gifts purchased and returned by Dec. 10,” she says.
“We always make sure to have blankets, warm winter clothing, candies, games, craft sets and other things on hand in case people want to do their shopping in town. We also let them know that IDA has many things available to fill the seniors’ gift bags.”
Brulotte says most people spend between $25 and $30 on each gift, and there is no limit to how many cards a person can take.
“The goal is just to try to fulfill the seniors’ extra needs as best as we can and provide a little something to open on Christmas day,” she says.
“The reason this campaign works so well is because our community cares and wants others to be happy,” she concludes.

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