Mr. Speaker, seniors have faced significant challenges during COVID-19. During this holiday season, many of our seniors will experience loneliness and will receive neither a gift nor a visit.
I am proud to rise in the House today to highlight the Be a Santa to a Senior program, led locally by Home Instead Senior Care in Tecumseh. The program is a national campaign that asks residents and businesses to donate gifts, such as grocery gift cards, blankets, gloves and small gift items, to be shared with our seniors. Since 2003, the program has provided approximately 2.1 million gifts to more than 750,000 seniors across Canada and the U.S.
This will be the 10th year for this program in Windsor-Essex, and through the leadership of Ryan and Colleen Jershy at Home Instead, the Be a Santa to a Senior program has provided 10,000 seniors in my community with gifts and comfort.
I encourage all Canadians to be a Santa to a senior and spread some holiday cheer with our most vulnerable seniors, who have helped make Canada the home we love.