Residents of Dalmeny, Sask., band together to bring gifts to local care home

Residents of the Spruce Manor Care Home in Dalmeny, Sask., like anyone living in a care home, have been hit hard during the pandemic, unable to see family or friends due to provincial COVID-19 restrictions.

It’s an impact felt outside of the home, even at a local restaurant, Granny B’s.

Read more: Saskatoon students spreading holiday cheer to care homes with letters, Christmas cards

“We have a lot of regulars and we haven’t seen them,” manager Ashli Gavin said. “So, I just wanted to do something to brighten their spirits, and let them know that we’re thinking of them, and that we miss them.”

It was those missing bonds that prompted Ashli and her mother, restaurant owner Bev Gavin, to reach out to Spruce Manor to create a gift catalogue. Customers at Granny B’s were then able to pick a card to purchase a gift for a corresponding senior.

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The town of just over 1,800 responded in kind, filling all 52 cards in less than a day.

Read more: Kreative Mum helping to spread holiday cheer during the pandemic

“We’re overwhelmed,” Bev said. “We’ve cried, we’ve done happy dances.”

The feeling is mutual for those residents in the home.

“They (are) just so emotional, and overwhelmed,” Spruce Manor Administrator Beverly Dawson explained. “(Just) everything that’s happened form the community.”

The outpouring of support didn’t stop after the 52 gifts were purchased, so, the Gavins took their idea a step further — procuring two new iPads for Spruce Manor’s residents.

“Virtual visits, that’s what they need,” Bev explained. “Most of their comments were, ‘We miss our family, we want a picture of our family, we want to see our family.’ It’s sad,” she continued.

“That was the number one thing, they just want to spend some time with their families.”

For daughter Ashli, the greatest reward was getting to see the seniors’ reactions when they received their gifts.

“It’s emotional,” she said. “You just want to go something for them, and see them happy. So it’s just a good feeling.”

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