For the past five years a group of seniors at the Ridge Meadows Seniors Society have made up tags for a Christmas tree outside London Drugs.
Each of the tags is for a senior in need in the community and is a Christmas wish list that includes items like scarves, gloves, warm winter hats, puzzle books, note books, pens, body wash, soaps, treats and other little treat.
Usually the group receives enough to fill 100 bags with more than $100 worth of items in each one.
This past Christmas, however, they received enough to fill 250 bags.
On the final week of the campaign, said Bev Schmahmann with the seniors society, they were transporting seven buggy loads a day back to the Ridge Meadows Seniors Activity Centre.
“It was beyond incredible,” exclaimed Schmahmann.
And, she said, people were looking far beyond London Drugs for gifts, some even giving boutique items.
“Everybody who donated put in something extra, like a little gift, and it was just spectacular,” noted Schmahmann.
Some even left hand-written notes, paintings and children’s drawings.
It took a little extra time for Schmahmann to make sure that every senior received a bag that needed one. Churches gave her names and numbers of those seniors in need and Schmahmann even delivered bags to isolated seniors in Pitt Meadows.
“A lot of people who were isolated, who wouldn’t normally have been able to get – got,” added Schmahmann.
And, in turn, the group of Seniors Helping Santa have received numerous thank you notes and phone calls about what a difference it has made in their lives.
Not only does the delivery of the bags help seniors in need but it also allows the society to connect to those they wouldn’t otherwise see on a regular basis, and let them know they are there to support them.
“The outpouring of love and support this year was humbling and local residents should be proud about how you’ve selflessly offered much needed cheer during this time of isolation and uncertainty,” said Schmahmann thanking the community.
And it is because of this outpouring of generosity, she said, that a second season of Christmas in July – another event to help seniors in need – will be able to take place this year.