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Young people in Montreal hold dinner for seniors to break isolation

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As families gather during the holidays, for some, it can be a lonely time of year.

The Little Brothers decided to help break the isolation for seniors and spread some holiday cheer this weekend.

"It's very important because otherwise, I'd be alone, and that is very difficult for me," said senior Elouise Menar.

The Litte Brothers volunteers connect with seniors all year and during the holidays, they share a meal and some laughs.

"For me, it's a gift," said Menard.

She added that it's an opportunity for some much-needed face time.

"They are there, they look at you, they talk to you, smiling," she said.

The organization said one in five Quebecers is at risk for isolation, and a little company goes a long way."Since the pandemic, we've seen an increase of people left alone," said Little Brothers team manager Elsa Fourez. "They go out sometimes, they come here for activities."

Volunteer Gabrielle Rodriguez Ramirez said it doesn't just benefit the seniors. It's good for her. She said she's never had a close relationship with her own grandparents.

"For me, it's such an opportunity to connect, learn from, and have conversations with people from different walks of life and people who are older," she said.

Abel Birard, 15, said he learns from his time spent as a little brother.

"You need to give back to those people who, at their time, gave to society," he said.

The Little Brothers said giving time year-round is a wonderful way to make a difference.

"We get so many new volunteers wanting to commit around the holidays," said Fourez. "I must say January comes, and people are still alone."

The organization said that if you know someone who may be alone, check on them... and not just over the holidays.

"We need to be like a village to check around on our elders," said Fourez. 

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