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Help seniors stay connected this holiday season


By Agata Michalska, Director of Regional Affairs, United Way East Ontario

Many seniors will be alone this holiday season.  

Long before the pandemic, seniors were some of the most vulnerable members of our communities. 

It’s difficult to think about the overwhelming isolation many of them feel, and the tremendous stress that caregivers are under.  

I live in a rural community, so it’s even harder to stay connected. Some seniors deal with unreliable internet, others depend on transportation services to get to day programs and doctor’s appointments.

Across East Ontario, there are seniors who struggle to fill their fridges because mobility issues or financial limitations make a trip to the grocery store seem simply impossible.    

The pandemic is still affecting our lives in big ways, especially for local seniors. Thankfully, we’ve made incredible progress. 

I’ve seen first-hand how generosity, kindness, and innovation in our region has got us through our darkest days. It’s because of selfless volunteers, donors, frontline workers, local businesses, and all levels of government that United Way was able to rapidly deploy critical resources at the height of the pandemic. 

Take, for instance, the incredible work United Way did, in partnership with the Champlain Community Support Network (CCSN) and local frontline organizations, to ensure volunteers can quickly move into action to address the most pressing local needs. Volunteers continue to deliver groceries, meals, and essentials to isolated seniors, and conduct telephone wellness checks to make sure the most vulnerable people in our communities don’t fall through the cracks.

Now, 21 months on, your community is still counting on us for support, and we won’t stop now.

With our partners and so many others, we’re helping the most vulnerable people make it through these ongoing challenges. 

With your support, and the work of our community partners, we can continue to help seniors by making technology more accessible, so they can stay connected to friends and loved ones. We can provide transportation so they can make it to doctor’s appointments and day programs, no matter where they live.  And, most importantly, we can help our caregivers by strengthening their support system and giving them much needed respite. 

The pandemic remains a challenge for us all, but this holiday season, I’m asking you to keep the momentum going and help those most in need. 




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