Two Ponoka-area teens want local seniors to know that someone is thinking about them on the Valentine’s Day weekend.
Friends Dustin Ellingson and Lucas Berg are behind the campaign Roses for Seniors and plan to give out about 500 roses on Feb. 12 to seniors at Ponoka’s hospital and seniors facilities in Ponoka.
Ellingson spearheaded a similar project that distributed about 200 poinsettias to Ponoka seniors at Christmas. He said the potted plants really made a lot of people happy judging by all the calls of thanks. Valentine’s Day was another opportunity to put more smiles on seniors’ faces.
“Seniors really like flowers, it’s also the thing you do on Valentine’s Day,” Dustin said.
A large vase containing roses for seniors will be delivered to about six facilities.
He said another flower campaign is being considered for Mother’s Day, and he encouraged people in other communities to start their own flower campaigns for seniors.
“You should go out and do it. If you want to change the world, be kind,” Dustin said.
His mother Mary Lynn Ellingson said some people in Red Deer have been frustrated that the Ponoka campaigns didn’t extend to Red Deer seniors.
“It’s not that we won’t do Red Deer. We would like to help other people learn how. The kids’ whole goal is to aspire to inspire,” said Mary Lynn, the owner of Red Neck Barbie Inc. in Ponoka, who has been helping out with fundraising.
She said one of the reasons Dustin started the poinsettia campaign was because he has two grandparents so he knows how hard the pandemic has been for seniors.
Many of the poinsettias are continuing to thrive under the care of their recipients according to staff at the seniors facilities, she said.
Recently Dustin’s campaign partner Lucas Berg donated 20 backpacks with essential items for the Mustard Seed in Red Deer to distribute. With Lucas and Dustin now working together “they are double the power,” Mary Lynn said.
“We’ve got two angels.”