COURTENAY, B.C. – This holiday season, you can adopt a grandparent.

Breanna Brosko is behind the Adopt-a-Grandparent program. The grade 11 student at G.P. Vanier in Courtenay started the initiative three years ago.

“It’s kind of like an ‘angel tree’, which a lot of businesses do for children, but it’s actually directed towards seniors in the Valley who don’t have family that can visit them for Christmas or might not otherwise be getting any Christmas presents. I just really wanted to make sure that everyone in the Valley was going to have a great Christmas,” Brosko told

She said her great-grandfather inspired her to start the program.

“I couldn’t go and see him for Christmas, and I just really wanted to spread the Christmas spirit around here more,” she said.

As part of the initiative, there are trees set up at White Spot in Courtenay, Jo Klassen’s Restaurant, Finders Keep Hers Boutique and at Art Knapp’s Plantland.

“There’s tags on the trees, and they’ve got general information. So it will give you a grandparent, let’s say, an elderly woman who just really loves fresh baked cookies, that’s your base idea of what you can get her for Christmas,” she explained.

“You can pick out whichever tag really speaks to you, and you bring back a wrapped present back to the location where you got the tag, or any of the other locations with the tag still on it. We pick up the tags, and we actually hand distribute them to a lot of the seniors close to Christmas.”

Brosko said they’re partnered up with the residents at the Casa Loma Seniors Village, Glacier View Lodge and the Cumberland Lodge.

She said that in addition to her great-grandfather, her late mother continues to inspire her to keep the program up and running.

“Starting it up was definitely (influenced by) my great-grandfather, but just last year, my mom passed away the day after Christmas. So that’s been a really big push this recent year to make everything happen,” Brosko explained.

She added that the hope is to eventually grow the program with more volunteers.

“We’d like to eventually expand it into seniors who are living in their own homes,” Brosko said.

More details about the program can be found through its Facebook page. This year’s campaign is on from November 25th to December 16th, 2018.