VICTORIA -- A Victoria business owner is hoping to lift spirits while honouring the memory of his father by installing bird feeders outside care home windows.

“The reason why we’re doing this is because we saw how much joy it was bringing to my dad’s life,” said Stephen Dusty Roberts, president and team leader for Luv-A-Rug Services inc.

Stephen’s father, 90-year-old Gordon Roberts, spent several months in a long-term care home, where regular visits were impossible due to COVID restrictions.

“Finally he got into the care home he wanted to be in,” said Roberts.

It was a ground floor room with a window at the Broadmead Care Home.

There, his family would visit from outside. One day, they set up bird feeders by his window.

“A hummingbird feeder and a wild bird feeder,” said Roberts.

“And it was just amazing to see how my dad lit up. Every time I visited him (…) he would be talking about all the wild birds and the hummingbirds.”

It brought him so much joy that the family decided to start a 2-for-1 promotion though Stephen’s business, Luv-A-Rug, so they could raise money and install bird feeders at other island care homes.

“Unfortunately, exactly at the time that we started this program, the 2-for-1, my dad, he very sadly passed away,” said Stephen.

Gordon Roberts died on Jan. 5, just days before his 91st birthday.

Now, Dusty is dedicating the initiative to his father's memory.

“It’s got to be awful being stuck at a home where no one can come visit,” said Roberts.

“The birds can come and go whenever they want. There’s no restrictions on the birds,” he said.

Now, Stephen hopes to raise $10,000 by offering customers a 2-for-1 deal when they make a donation to his Luv-A-Senior Fund.

The plan is to donate about 80 bird feeders, seed and supplies to island care homes, where they will be maintained and cleaned regularly.

Any donations raised beyond the $10,000 goal will be donated to a music therapy program for seniors at the Royal Jubilee hospital.

For full promotion details, visit the Luv-A-Rug website here