Seniors organize toy drive for underprivileged kids
Home is where the heart is and this adage is especially true during the holiday season at Trinity Place Foundation of Alberta (TPFA)’s Peter Coyle Place. At this one-of-a-kind seniors’ residence, 70 individuals with complex health needs have found a home where they finally feel safe and cared for.
Each tenant has a harrowing personal journey that brought them here. Some faced the risk of homelessness. Some were living in hospital. Many don’t have the support of a family. But all have now found friendship, caring and a sense of family at Peter Coyle Place.
It is a unique facility in Calgary and one of only a few senior housing residences in Canada operating with a harm reduction care model. What makes it different is that it encourages independent living in a homelike setting while offering supports such as meals and snacks, social activities, an onsite medical office, and assistance with light housekeeping and laundry.
Despite the fact that the seniors who live here only receive low-income monthly pensions and benefits, these kind-hearted individuals are giving back by organizing a toy drive, for the second year in a row, to help underprivileged kids in Calgary.
Last year the Peter Coyle Place seniors took four large boxes of new toys to Calgary Fire Station 11. They gratefully accepted the donation on behalf of the Calgary Firefighters Toy Association and the toys undoubtedly made Christmas morning special for many kids.
Lorraine and Linda live at Peter Coyle and organized the toy drive. “Christmas is all about kids,” they say. “And giving them these gifts not only makes them feel good, but all this giving makes all of us feel good too!”
Linda adds that “having a home that feels safe and comfortable allows a person to focus on giving back and being part of a bigger community. We are so thankful that we can feel the true spirit of Christmas, which for me is giving to others – especially kids.”
The need for more housing like Peter Coyle is urgent. Through the RESOLVE Campaign, TPFA will construct a 120-unit building for some of Calgary’s most vulnerable seniors, including 70 units for those with medical complexities. It will also include 50 units of affordable housing for seniors with low income.
Alison Loewen, Team Lead at Peter Coyle, explains, “Imagine facing personal challenges and even homelessness. In that situation you’re often thinking in terms of self-preservation out of necessity.”