Contest uncovers hidden tragedy of impoverished seniors
The founders of a Toronto agency were so struck by what they say is a hidden crisis of Canadian seniors living in poverty, they decided to hold a contest to do something about it.
Peter Cook, who runs Seniors for Seniors, an agency that hires younger seniors to run errands for older seniors, is the mastermind of the contest, along with this wife. A few weeks ago, they put out a call to social workers to nominate needy Toronto-area seniors who could benefit from a prize of $1,000 a month for a year.
The stories they got back were heart-wrenching.
The company has already received dozens of submissions and will announce the "winner" on Friday.
Loucia and Andrew Linkert make up one couple who was nominated for the contest. The couple has been married for almost for three decades, getting by for many years with his work as a jeweller and her work as a truck driver.
But a few years back Loucia, 59, was diagnosed with liver cancer, and then Andrew, 72, had a heart attack and was diagnosed with Parkinson's. They became embroiled in money woes.
These days, the couple survives on pasta and bread.