Senior Santa Christmas hampers target holiday-time loneliness

November 26, 2015   ·   0 Comments

Screen Shot 2015-11-26 at 2.08.23 AMBy Tabitha Wells

With all the joy, happiness and love that become the focus of the Yuletide holidays, for some it can become a darker time. Whereas the holidays represent time together with those we love, for others it is a reminder that they are alone; a reminder that those they love have left this world, and that they are alone.

Senior Santa is a local program designed to combat exactly that – to help provide those elderly persons who are either alone, or unable to go to family, with the opportunity to be loved and supported during the holiday season.

The program was created by Tracy Haworth and her husband Mike of Supersaverca Video Surveillance, Alarms and Access Controls, in 2010, and aims to show local seniors that there are those who care for them, and remind them that the magic of Santa does still exist. For many, where they live or who they can see is often determined by their health or age, often leaving them to move away from family and friends to a place they can afford.

Ms. Haworth noted that the Senior Santa Christmas Hamper Drive isn’t a jab at nursing homes or retirement lodges, but rather something to help assist them.

“Most nursing homes try their very best to take care of the residents that live there, but due to budget constraints, sometimes only the basic necessities are taken care of,” Ms. Haworth told the Citizen last year. “What about those seniors that have no families to visit and have stopped believing in the magic of Santa?”

For the holiday season, Senior Santa provides a little reminder of Santa to local seniors supported through nursing homes, meals on wheels, assisted living and other community members identified as needing a little cheer during the holidays.

Each year, the program has continued to grow as many giving citizens donate, aiming to make sure that no seniors are forgotten each year.

“Everyone deserves a bit of Santa magic at Christmas time, and when he visits that special senior with their gifts, they know someone in the community has taken the time to provide the items for them,” said Ms. Haworth.

The items seniors receive in their Christmas Hampers can vary from hand-knit socks, shawls or blankets, to large print word-searches, body lotions, and others. Ms. Haworth hopes each time a senior uses one of those items, they are reminded they matter, and they are reminded of the love the community is hoping to show them.

Last year, the Senior Santa Christmas Hamper Program grew further with the introduction of their ‘Adopt a Senior’ program. As of last week, the program had over 400 seniors and at least 20 seniors adopted, with 15 more to go.

The Haworths will be collecting donations until December 13, so that they will have enough time to arrange the donations and help prepare them for delivery. There are three donation drop locations in Orangeville: Senior Santa Central at 158 Parkview Drive (519-341- 4581), Marlin Travel inside Walmart (Mon.- Fri. 9-9, Sat. 9-5, Sun. 10-5), and Sutton Group Central at 510 Riddell Road, beside the LCBO (Mon.-Fri. 9-8, Sat. 10-4). This year, there will also be three donation locations in Shelburne: Sutton Group Central at 117 Owen Sound Street (519-925-9988), Manax Plumbing Retail Store at 137 Main Street West, and Shelburne Auto and Cycle at 713 Industrial Road (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

This year, they will also be conducting a food drive for both the Orangeville and Shelburne food banks. Items can be dropped off at any of the above collection boxes, or at the Haworth’s home (158 Parkview). Any items or donations that cannot be used for the seniors are donated to Family Transition Place, Choices Youth Shelter and the Orangeville and the Shelburne food banks.

The program has been a passion for Ms. Haworth since she began in, providing her with an avenue to help those her heart goes out to in a way that would be beyond her individual capacity to do.

However, that passion also means she will do whatever it takes to make sure each of the seniors they have agreed to spread Santa’s Magic to receive that.

“I’m just a girl with a dream,” she said. “If I come up short [on donations], it comes out of my pocket. No-one should have to feel alone at Christmas.”

For further information, you can contact Mike and Tracy Haworth by phone at 519-341-4581, by email at or online at

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