Lytton RCMP will be bringing some holiday cheer to local elders and seniors with their “Adopt an Elder” campaign.
The initiative is the brainchild of Cst. Seamus O’Connell, a member of the Lytton RCMP Indigenous Policing Service, and the intention is to show appreciation for the community’s elders. Any elders or seniors in Lytton and the surrounding area who would like to participate can come down to the detachment between now and Dec. 1 and fill out a form with their name and three choices of possible gifts.
“The list can be put in a locked mailbox in the foyer,” says Lytton detachment commander Sgt. Curtis Davis. “Every day we’ll pull them out and assign that person a number, create their wish list, and put it on the tree in the foyer.
“If you then choose to come in and buy something, you can look at the tree and say ‘I can buy a kettle or a bath robe’, go and buy it, and bring it back unwrapped. We’ll wrap it and match it up with the person who filled out the wish list.”
Davis adds that the form has also been sent to local bands so people can fill them out there, and that people can come to the detachment and fill the form out for someone else. “We’re very flexible. It’s all about giving back to the community. It’s not meant to be complicated or arduous.”
Davis says that O’Connell and his wife Amanda wanted to do it for the community.
“Seamus has been here three years as of spring 2021, and is one of two members who are part of the Indigenous Policing Services program here. He and his family are so involved in the community, from children to elders.
“This was Seamus and Amanda’s idea to do this for the community. It’s his initiative, and he’s got my support, as well as the support of the Indigenous policing unit out of headquarters in Surrey.
“I’m so pleased and proud of the work he’s doing: not just with this but with the other programs he does, like reading to kids at Stein Valley School and donating books. He has just under three years of policing experience but has really embraced the precepts of community policing.”
Gifts should be dropped off under the tree in the detachment foyer by Dec. 10. They will then be wrapped, and personally delivered to the elders and seniors on behalf of the community, as a way of showing respect while spreading some joy this season.
BC RCMP Indigenous Policing Services is striving to bring the “Adopt an Elder” initiative to all the communities it serves across British Columbia. For now, Lytton is blazing the trail, and Davis says it’s about small towns, and neighbours helping neighbours.
“That’s what our communities are all about. We hear about floods or fires and everyone pitches in. It’s not so in your face with COVID-19, but it’s very sad and very hard, and this second wave is wearing on everyone. This is meant to make people feel good at a time that is just so trying for everyone, especially elders and seniors.”
For more information, either to take part in or donate to “Adopt an Elder”, contact O’Connell by phone at (250) 455-2225 or by email at email@example.com.