T adopt-A-Grandparent program has been run by the Calgary Resource Centre for approximately four years. It relies on volunteers to 'adopt' a grandparent for the season to provide company and companionship to seniors.
The volunteer pays a fee of $100 which goes towards filling a stocking for the grandparent. Volunteers also make once a week visits to the seniors to talk.
Seniors are faced with continual challenges, such as isolation, loneliness, abuse, depression and illness.
Adopt-A-Grandparent helps seniors stay connected to the community with visits made by volunteers. The sponsored seniors also receive gifts from the program.
Community Relations Manager Annastasia Stevens said the program has grown in recent years.
"The turnout is increasing and we have a conservative estimate of about 250 stockings being filled," she said. "This program really tugs at the heartstrings."
Gareth McVicar, student leadership program coordinator at the Student Success Centre, said seniors have a wealth of knowledge to share. "All the things they've seen, all the things these seniors have done, it's a whole generation before technology."
McVicar runs leadership programs on campus, engaging with communities on and off campus. "This program is really effective because you understand how you made a difference by the simple fact that it's face-to-face," said Stevens.