What is the Sunshine Club?

The Sunshine Club is a unique volunteer program designed to bring cheer and companionship into the lives of local seniors.

Whether for seniors living on their own, in assisted living facilities or convalescent homes, the Sunshine Club matches up caring friends to be there with and for seniors on a bi-weekly basis – to visit, to assist and to uplift. To share experiences, to spend quality time, to celebrate special occasions and to create wonderful memories together.

It’s not just about visitation. It’s about friendship. It’s about community.

The Visits – A Gift of Mutual Benefit

Whether a senior has family and friends who visit with him or her on a consistent basis or is quite alone in the world, regular visits with a designated Sunshine Club volunteer opens an entire new world of social connection and interaction. A relationship of love and caring, devotion and tenderness, is fostered and built upon.

For the seniors, simply knowing that someone with a kind heart is there to lend a sensitive ear or hold their hand is reason enough for them to smile and feel uplifted – all week long. Activities and pastimes such as reading, studying, letter-writing, crafting or game-playing, or venturing out for neighborhood strolls, can serve as delightful bonuses to Sunshine Club visits.

For the volunteers, there is the boundless sense of satisfaction of performing a deed that is deemed of highest virtue in Judaism – showing due respect for the elderly, helping ensure that their golden years are as pleasant and rewarding as can be. The visits also allow for volunteers to be mentored – to learn the valuable lessons of life’s journeys from those who have traveled its many miles.

Together, seniors and volunteers develop a newfound appreciation for the joys and blessings of life. By sharing personal experiences and accomplishments, they inform and enrich each other’s lives. A mutual gift indeed. 


The Sunshine Club concept was founded in 1981 by Mrs. Gita Ceitlin o.b.m. Heeding the call of the Lubavitcher Rebbe o.b.m. to expand programming for seniors, Mrs. Ceitlin began visitations and group gatherings at numerous Montreal seniors residences. The success that she met can be seen through the awards she received from these centres over the years (click here to view the awards).
With her incredible devotion, her gentle touch and love for people, she encouraged others to be a part of this great cause, involving many volunteers to assist her in this undertaking. 

On the 21st day of the Hebrew month of Kislev 5772, she passed away. Her legacy lives on through these acts of goodness and kindness.