No One Left Behind

With the Holidays now at our front door it’s necessary that we invite everyone into the Joy of the Season. Blessed are those who have relatives to love, argue, eat and play with. Blessed are those who have friends they can call family to share this time of year. However, many are without family or close friends. At the Riverside Chronicle, we enjoy creating ways to extend the feeling of being connected with everyone in our community.

Our Sister city, Toronto has helped us this year build a bridge of Holiday Cheer. We are replicating like a 3D printer the extended warmth of the year by exchanging cards, letters, memories, toys, clothing and other goodies to each other’s community.

Seniors
Our first stop is LifeStyle Care Center at Mason St. Commons. The Seniors in our area are still a vital part of what makes our city great. We have a very active Senior community and they love to participate in Holiday activities.

It’s been noted that the California lifestyle lingers well into our later years. The invitation of living in the warm West Coast sunshine lets us all enjoy giving and receiving during the winter months – and especially December.

As we grow and go into our later years we lose loved ones along the way. It can get lonely. The best medicine for loneliness is to give of yourself. If what you have left is you, then make the most of it – and that’s exactly what dozens from LifeStyle Care Center residents do.

Every year knobbed hands and big hearts begin in October to make gifts for the less privileged. Some start sooner and some folks never stop. Knitted caps, sweaters, throws, for the cold Toronto winters, cookies, fudge and cards are written. We have a wonderful resource in our Senior community.

Kids
The Riverside Chronicle was told that the St. Joseph’s Children’s Home in Toronto is the destination for all the heart made goodies put together by the LifeStyle Care Center Elves. St. Joes was established in the late 1890s and has helped kids avoid a childhood of abuse, neglect and loneliness. The kids have each other, but outside family is usually non-existent so St. Joes keeps them loved and safe.

Here’s the deal. The children at St. Joseph’s are invited to enter a program that guides them in the art of gift giving. Learning to give when it appears you have nothing to offer is a huge life lesson. Essentially the children get to do the same for the Seniors in Riverside.

Cards from St. Joes go out with pictures, chatty letters reporting the events of the past year which kept everyone busy. Every year the men and women of LifeStyle are treated to the inside story from the children’s’ point of view. What’s especially fun for the Seniors is knowing the Staff at both facilities are well versed in ‘computereez’.

Any age difference is bridged with technology. Skyping familiar faces and meeting newbies makes it feel like a family on Christmas Day. The kids were born into a computer age, so creating clever posts for the Seniors is part of their gift-giving. Smiles all the way around.

How are you giving this year? How are you receiving? What makes your heart swell with the Love of the Season? Leave a comment below and give us a peak into your Holidays.