By Barbara Sutherland
Residents at Sagebrush had a colouring-bee recently, to create Christmas cards for members of the armed forces. It was in response to a Canadian Armed Forces request for holiday greetings that can be sent to personnel who will be serving away from families this Christmas.
A Shimmer of a Happier Holiday
Recreation Therapist Haley Wilde saw a news article about the request. “I just thought it would be a great idea to get involved and spread some Christmas cheer,” says Haley. “Many residents hopped on board with the idea right away, wanting to give someone else a little shimmer of a happier holiday.”
Haley says the activity returned a lot of cheer. In the battle against loneliness, helplessness, and boredom, “Their giving of time and care gave residents a purpose; a reason to help someone else, even just for a moment or a smile,” Haley says. “It helped them get out and get colouring. I think we all have felt lonely at one point or another this year, and if we can try to alleviate some loneliness in others, it can go a long way.”
Make a Stranger a Little Bit Happier
With Christmas music playing, hot chocolate and coffee to fuel inspiration, and a little bit of time, the hardworking crew embraced the goal “to make a complete stranger a little less lonely and a little bit happier,” she adds. “When the program was completed, the residents had over 40 cards to send.”
The cards were filled with bright colours, personalized messages and signatures. One of Haley's favourite messages read, “Thank you for all your hard work to serve Canadians. If you take time to drink hot chocolate, please remember the elderly residents in Alberta!”
Photo: Sagebrush residents' beautiful cards for CAF troops.