Meet Butterfly Lane, one of many uplifting volunteers for LCSNW Santa for Seniors

by | May 1, 2023 | Aging & Independent Living

Lane and his granddaughter Matia show their origami creations in a “how to” video.

Lane lives alone on the top of a tiny mountain. He built a cabin on Guemes Island in the North Puget Sound with the help of friends. A fifth-generation Native American carver made sure that Lane had a totem pole in front because the two men are as close as brothers.

Lane used to be a teacher. Before retirement, he made journals out of paper and sold them. He also has a passion for origami. After taking care of his mother with dementia, he now lives alone but is occasionally visited by his son and his granddaughter, Matia.

During the Covid pandemic, Lane caught pneumonia and found himself in a sterile hospital. Surrounded by white walls and mechanical sounds for days on end, he folded butterflies to bring him hope. As he made the origami creations, many nurses and others asked for them. It put smiles on their faces and brightened an otherwise bleak atmosphere.

When Lane heard about LCSNW’s Santa for Seniors program on the radio around the holidays last year, he decided he wanted to bring hope and beauty to other isolated seniors. So he reached out to Santa for Seniors with the idea of sharing his butterflies with more people.

Today the Tacoma-based program enjoys lifting the spirits of our senior neighbors around the Puget Sound region with Lane’s butterflies. He and his granddaughter made 300 and helped record a “How To” video so we could collect even more from the community.

In recent weeks, the Santa for Seniors team has enlisted others to make butterflies. One place the team visited is Lakewood Meadows, a low-income senior living community south of Tacoma. They led a fun, hands-on origami enrichment activity.

The butterflies will be delivered to isolated seniors as part of our springtime gift bag distribution. It’s one example of how Santa for Seniors brings joy not just at Christmas, but all year long.

We couldn’t do it without Butterfly Lane and all of our other uplifting volunteers!

Interested in a butterfly kit or other ways to spread joy to seniors? Send us an email at [email protected]

– Written by Kara Goss, the Corporate Relations and In-Kind Giving Manager for Santa for Seniors.