Carolyn Standfield has called Quesnel home for the past 10 years.
She discovered two wonderful attributes of the community after travelling through several times on her way to visiting relatives in the north.
“We just loved the atmosphere,” she says, “and the summer flowers and the people.”
About a year ago, Carolyn lost her husband and life changed dramatically for this vivacious senior. Now, her overwhelming emotion is loneliness.
“It’s been really tough being on my own.”
She adds there seems to be a lot of lonely seniors in Quesnel. Carolyn tried a local grief counselling service, but found it didn’t offer her what she was looking for.
“I’d like a little casual friendship and companionship. Maybe a get together to socialize a couple of times a week. There are a lot of organizations, but many of them are with specific activities and I’m just looking for friendship.”
She’s delighted with the concept of the Seniors Secret Santa and knows a lot of seniors could benefit of a little gift at this time of year, even just to say someone cares.
Carolyn plans to spend Christmas with her nephew in Vancouver as he is also lonely since his mother (Carolyn’s only sister) also died in 2016.
Two of Carolyn’s passions are the environment and the plight of seniors and the cost of their health-care needs.
“Our planet is being devastated by pollution. This is our home and we need to tell the big corporations to stop wreaking environmental havoc on our home.”
With regards to seniors healthcare costs, Carolyn says she knows firsthand the amount of money seniors are expected to pay for services, prescriptions, procedures and other costs while on a fixed income.
“Many seniors must choose between food and prescriptions and that’s just not right. Seniors shouldn’t have to pay for all these services when they are on a low fixed income.”
She is also well aware of the difficulties faced by single mothers who also must make due on relatively low incomes.
Carolyn encourages everyone to drop by the Quesnel Observer office, choose a card with a seniors name on it and purchase a small gift as suggested on the card. Then return the gift, either wrapped with the card on the outside or unwrapped along with the card and volunteers will make sure the gifts are delivered before Christmas.