New gift-giving platform wants to hear from more aged care homes

New gift-giving platform wants to hear from more aged care homes

As a car filled with newly purchased Christmas presents set sail for Sacred Heart Community and several Arcare aged care homes on Christmas morning, neither the driver nor the passenger had any idea what to expect when they entered each facility.

Unlike most gift transactions, each colourfully wrapped item had been purchased by a stranger and was set to be delivered to a stranger, by a stranger.

Weeks earlier, all of the residents set to receive gifts had been interviewed about their lives and asked, ‘What gift or personal experience would make you happy?’

As you may imagine, this resulted in an eclectic variety of heartwarming and heartbreaking answers.

The residents’ personal stories and gift requests were then uploaded to a website called Connect the 40%, where members of the general public had an opportunity to purchase these gifts for those individual residents.

In only a matter of days, nearly 40 gifts were purchased by generous strangers; these gifts included items like puzzle packs, art therapy lessons, laughter yoga sessions, and animatronic dementia animals. 

It was at this point, on Christmas Day 2021, equipped with a carload of gifts thanks to the generous public, that Connect the 40% became real to all those involved.

Over the next several hours, Connect the 40% staff witnessed an outpouring of emotion by residents, many of whom were completely overwhelmed by the fact the gift they had received was purchased by a stranger.

“Making [residents] feel wanted, that’s a big thing. If you’re wanted at Christmas, your Christmas is made.”

After waving goodbye to the residents of Sacred Heart Community, Connect the 40% staff ventured out to three Arcare aged care facilities across Melbourne.

Each visit yielded its own memorable moments. Memories that those involved will cherish for the rest of their lives.

But only you can continue to make this happen.

What is Connect the 40%?

To put it simply, Connect the 40% is an online platform that makes it easy for members of the general public to purchase gifts and experiences for lonely seniors living in Australian nursing homes.

The Connect the 40% site is populated with individual profiles of Australian aged care residents.

Visitors to the site have the opportunity to read each individual resident’s profile and can then purchase their desired gift or opportunity – along with a personalised message to let them know who you are and that you care.

These gifts and experiences are then delivered to that resident, resulting in some of the most moving reactions imaginable.

Connect the 40% is the brainchild of HelloCare CEO and founder, Lauren Todorovic, who was able to spend her Christmas morning handing out gifts to aged care residents who were in need.

“The response has been nothing short of amazing,” said Lauren.

The name ‘Connect the 40%’ is derived from the sad fact that 40% of aged care residents don’t receive any visitors.

Although nothing can replace meaningful interactions with a family member or loved one, the feelings of gratitude and acknowledgment that come after receiving a gift are positive and clearly evident.

“Gift experiences like art therapy, laughter yoga and animal interactions are extremely popular with aged care residents,” shared Lauren.

“Over 40 gifts and experiences were paid for by generous members of the public across the Christmas period, but Connect the 40% operates all year round, and we are hoping to hear from aged care providers all over the country right now.”

Can you help?

With the festive season now well and truly behind us, Connect the 40% is calling upon all Australian aged care providers, potential partners and product suppliers to help us ensure that these opportunities can occur on a more frequent basis, all year round.

Every aged care home in Australia has residents that are in need of a boost, particularly when you consider what many have been forced to endure over the last two years.

Secondly, Connect the 40% would love to hear from any business that provides gifts, services or experiences that may be relevant to seniors living in aged care.

Please don’t let the age bracket fool you – tattoos, skydiving and helicopter rides have already been inquired about by residents.

Connect the 40% also encourages aged care staff to nominate and share the names of any performers, experiences or gifts that they have witnessed have a profound effect on the happiness of their beloved residents.

To register your interest in
Connect the 40% as an aged care provider or a potential partner/product supplier please email [email protected].

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