ST. PAUL – The Santa’s Elves for Seniors is getting ready for a second year of giving.
After a successful 2021 season, the St. Paul Regional FCSS and Family Resource Network (FCSS) is once again making “little care packages” for seniors aged 55 and up, which includes a pre-made turkey dinner, a gift, and information useful to seniors throughout the year.
The Santa’s Elves for Seniors program is a way to promote wellness and appreciation of seniors in the Town and County of St. Paul, as well as Elk Point. The program informs them “that there are different ways they can be involved in their community and be supported by their community as well,” according to Lynn Smid, FCSS director.
Smid says the packages were popular last year, serving around 300 seniors, and she hopes to see the same success this year, while possibly serving even more seniors.
There will be a limited number of packages, so Smid encourages seniors to sign up or reach out to FCSS before slots run out. The deadline for registration will be Dec. 7, with the pick-up in the Town and County of St. Paul set for Dec. 13. A pickup will also be set up at the FCSS Elk Point location.
Interested individuals can call 780-645-5311 to register.
Smid says part of the reason Santa’s Elves for Seniors was created was due to COVID-19, and seniors being deemed a vulnerable population during the pandemic.
“In the past, we’ve hosted a seniors’ festival in which all the seniors came together for a meal,” she said. But “with anxiety being higher due to sickness,” Santa’s Elves for Seniors was kicked off so that “seniors still can have a meal and feel that they could do it safely,” she explained.
The program is part of the FCSS mandate to “encourage senior connection and support through information,” according to Smid.
“So, it’s part of our mandate to support seniors this way by making sure they feel connected to the community and feel connected to the supports available to them.”