Since the pandemic started, a lot of programs and services have had to be postponed or canceled altogether.

One of those programs that had to be canceled was the Adopt-a-Senior for Christmas program at Haven Homes Senior Living Community in Maple Plain.

The program was started in 2018 as a way to get Christmas gifts to the residents at Haven Homes but they weren’t able to have the event last year because of COVID-19.

That is changing this Christmas season as the Adopt-a-Senior for Christmas is returning to Haven Homes.

“It was a program that I started in 2018, but haven’t been able to do it since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Jordan Schilling, Therapeutic Activity Director at Haven Homes, said. “I am excited be able to bring this back this year and see our residents light up when they’re able to open gifts.”

Schilling started the program in 2018 as a way for the community and the Haven Homes to come together and to make sure the residents enjoy Christmas.

“I started the Adopt-a-Senior for Christmas program because I wanted to be able to create a holiday celebration that reflects everyone’s family traditions,” he said. “We have many residents that don’t have family around and we wanted to be able to give them a reason to be joyful during the holidays. In the past, our seniors at Haven Homes have been very appreciative and excited to receive a gift during the holidays something as simple as a blanket or new sweater.”

The way the program works is that a community member is matched up with a Haven Homes resident and that community member gets a Christmas gift for that resident.

“A community member is matched with a senior at Haven Homes to provide a Christmas Gift off their wish list,” Schilling said. “It’s not only so all of our residents receive gifts for Christmas, but to bring light and joy into their lives and the lives of our community members during the holiday season. It can be a difficult time of year for many seniors, especially the last two years due to the pandemic and it provides an opportunity to make a connection with the community.”

If you are interested in participating in the Adopt-a-Senior Christmas at Haven Homes, email Schilling at Jordan.Schilling@cassialife.org or call 763-479-8026. Once that happens, Schilling will send their seniors wish list for Christmas.

Gifts need to be turned into Haven Homes by Monday, Dec. 20, as the presents will be opened at the Haven Homes Christmas Party on Tuesday, Dec. 21.

“It feels wonderful to be able to start this program back up again,” Schilling said. “I’m hoping this is the first of many events that we will be able to get back to in the New Year. To be able to have a community support this program is a great blessing. Everyone (staff and residents) are so excited to be able to have a big, fun event again.”

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