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Local artist launches campaign to make Christmas cards for seniors in Cochrane

“For our seniors, this has been really tough on all of them— I think it will put a smile on their face to see all these cards come in.”
paint, paint brushes (File)

COCHRANE— Looking to spread holiday cheer around Cochrane, a local artist has launched a project to bring Christmas cards to seniors in the community.

Artist MJ Stead has created the Christmas Cards for Seniors campaign to bring the joy of the holidays to those feeling isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s something that everybody can do,” Stead said. “For our seniors, this has been really tough on all of them— I think it will put a smile on their face to see all these cards come in.”

The Christmas Cards for Seniors project serves as a way to ensure no-one feels forgotten or isolated during the pandemic, she said, and will show people care about seniors in the community.

Stead said she knows seniors will be grinning when they receive a handmade card from one of the children who help with the project.

“How amazing would it be every senior in a senior home got a homemade card,” Stead exclaimed. “It brings everyone together and it makes everyone feel good.”

Stead said one of the best parts of the project are all the supplies needed can be purchased at the dollar store. Art supplies for the project can include craft or acrylic paint, markers, paintbrushes, glitter, glue, glitter pens, card stock that can be folded in half and Christmas stickers.

Participants can use a mix or all of the items to make their unique Christmas cards.

Stead will be hosting card painting Facebook live videos so the community can gather together online to paint cards for seniors.

She encourages the whole family to join in on the fun because it is a great way to give back to the community.

“Everybody would be doing something with their seniors right now if they could,” Stead said. “I want to get people supporting each other.”

During the painting videos, Stead will share tips on creating a card including the best brush strokes, how to create Christmas trees, painting snowman, painting Santa Claus and more.

“Anything festive, we want it to be really Christmasy,” Stead said.

The goal of the initial project is to create 160 cards for seniors living at Points West Senior Home. If they find success, Stead said, they are hoping to expand and bring cards to all four continuing care facilities in Cochrane.

“It would be pretty neat if we could do all of them,” Stead said. “Everybody is welcome to join in.”

Paint with MJ has amassed 2,200 families in the Facebook group and she hopes they can join forces to make the Christmas season bright for seniors. Chance to have a fun activity as a family that can benefit the community.

“It’s been a really good way to connect with a lot of amazing people and bring art into their lives,” Stead said. “We’re all going to have a lot of fun and as a town, we can support our seniors who totally deserve that.”

To participate in the project visit the Paint With MJ Facebook Page.

“Together we can make this happen,” Stead said.

Chelsea Kemp

About the Author: Chelsea Kemp

Chelsea Kemp joined the Cochrane Eagle in 2020 as editor, bringing with her experience as a reporter and photojournalist. She writes about politics, health care, arts and entertainment and Indigenous stories.
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