A & O: Support Services for Older Adults hosted the Holiday Fundraiser event at the Clifton Community Centre this past Tuesday, December 3, 2013. This was the perfect way to kick off the month of December and to get people into the spirit of the season.
As holiday music played softly in the background, those in attendance spent time with each other and enjoyed the offerings from the canteen and bake sale, as well as food samples from the Epicure Selections table and tea samples from Steeped Tea.
The Stradbrook Avenue Show Choir got everyone singing along with them on the holiday favorites and brought to mind the memory of holidays past. Members of the West End Senior group had the opportunity to reminisce and to dance along to their favourite melodies.
Several door prizes were a huge hit including two pairs of tickets for the Chelsea Hotel – The Leonard Cohen Songs, donated by the Prairie Theatre Exchange. The senior who won the tickets was very excited to get the opportunity to see this hit show coming to town in January 2014.
Due to poor weather and the threat of an upcoming storm, the attendance was not what was expected but the quality of the people in attendance more than made up for the quantity. Several staff members of A & O took time out of their busy schedules to stop in and do some of their holiday shopping at the event.
The West End Senior group raised money from sales at the canteen as well as from donated holiday baking. These funds will be used to provide extra funds for special events and offset costs for many of the member’s activities. With the help of the vendors, A & O was able to raise enough money to create an impact in the wait lists that exists for many of the services provided by the agency.
As a result of the money raised, the agency will be able to provide four one-on-one housing consults to older adults who need the help of the Housing Coordinator to find adequate accommodations in the tight housing market that exists in Winnipeg.
A & O will also be able to provide two people who have been a victim of crime with a personal alarm to give them the extra sense of security and to help them feel less vulnerable.
As well, the money raised will allow A & O to provide three older adults entering the Safe Suite program with a Welcome Basket. The gift basket contains personal care items that make recipients feel less isolated and alone during a time of hardship and stress, especially when fleeing an abusive situation.
To further highlight the impact of the services that A & O provides, here are a few quotes from clients who benefitted from the agency’s programs and services:
“Before I felt like I was always walking on eggshells. I enjoyed the quiet. There is strength in silence and I was able to heal.”
– Elder Abuse and Safe Suite client
“I think that SCWW makes seniors feel connected more to society, makes us feel like we’re not forgotten.”
– Senior Centre Without Walls client
“A big bouquet to the program and for the excellent safety tips I received. I would like to thank A & O for offering the program and for doing such a great job.”
– SafetyAid client
“These angels helped me get my life back.”
– This Full House client
“Getting connected to A & O’s programs and services changed my life.”
– Older Victim Services client
“I have learned a lot of Canadian life style and culture. We have learned the basic everyday English. Class is also a very good social place for us to communicate, to socialize, and to make new friends.”
– Entry Program for Older Adults participant
“Homebound people need this. Also for me it is informative, and instructive. It provides mental, emotional, spiritual, and social supports.”
– Senior Centre Without Walls client
There is still time to help make an impact for the clients of A & O. This week the agency is offering a special offer where if you purchase one of the Owl pendants or lapel pins created by Hilary Druxman, you will be entered in a draw to win an Owl pendant. The draw will occur on Friday December 6, 2013.
As a registered charity, A & O is also able to provide a tax receipt for those who choose to make a direct donation over $10.00. To find out more on how you can make a difference for the older adults in our community, please visit the agency website at www.ageopportunity.mb.ca or call 204-956-6440.
A & O would like to thank all who were able to attend, to those who made purchases, as well as to the vendors who donated a percentage of their sales to the agency. Your support makes a big difference in our community and in the lives of many older adults who rely on the services of A & O to make their lives better.