A Tree for Teddy, written by Sandra Walton and illustrated by Ida Heron, is for sale at the Ridge Meadows Hospital gift shop. (Special to The News)

A Tree for Teddy, written by Sandra Walton and illustrated by Ida Heron, is for sale at the Ridge Meadows Hospital gift shop. (Special to The News)

Heartwarming Christmas book to benefit Maple Ridge hospital

A Tree for Teddy being sold at the hospital gift shop

A heartwarming book about how a boy and his mother come across a Christmas tree at a time in their lives when they didn’t think they could afford a Christmas at all, is being sold to benefit Ridge Meadows Hospital.

A Tree for Teddy is on sale now at the hospital gift shop with 40 per cent of the cost of the book going the Auxiliary to The Ridge Meadows Hospital and Health Care Center that raises money for equipment for the hospital.

The story was written by Maple Ridge author Sandra Walton, and illustrated by Ida Heron, and is based on a true event that happened in Walton’s husband’s life.

Her husband was only a boy when he lost his father who was killed during a mission in August, 1944, during the Second World War.

“He was in the air force, a wireless operator,” noted Walton.

His mother brought him to Vancouver from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, in early 1945, where his grandmother was already living. They had an apartment at 25th and Fraser Street, Walton explained.

That Christmas they couldn’t afford to purchase a Christmas tree as his mother worked at the lunch counter at Woolworth’s.

“They figured they wouldn’t be doing too much at Christmas,” said Walton.

Then on Christmas eve, he was out on Fraser Street with a friend, when a truck went by carrying Christmas trees in the back.

READ MORE: Hospital thrift store closing its doors in Maple Ridge

ALSO: Ridge Meadows Hospital Auxiliary donates 30K to hospital foundation

“One of them fell off the truck and the guy didn’t stop so they went and pulled the tree out of the street and brought it around the side of the building and up to the apartment,” she explained.

As his friend already had a Christmas tree, he asked his mom if they could keep this one.

She said it was fine, and they decorated it with handmade ornaments, noted Walton.

A Tree for Teddy has been sold at the gift shop since 2018. The auxiliary is selling the book for $9.95.

Sheila Dodgshon, with the Ridge Meadows Hospital Gift Shop, noted that the auxiliary will be celebrating their 70th anniversary in 2023. But, she said, they have been slow to recuperate after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before the pandemic hit they operated the store with about 30 volunteers. Now, she said they are in desperate need of volunteers to have the store run at pre-pandemic hours. She noted that due to the pandemic, they also lost the Economy Cottage Thrift Store, that also helped the auxiliary raise money for the hospital.

The gift shop needs to be open from 9:30-5 p.m., with three shifts, she explained. However, when they opened the gift shop back up in November of 2020, they only had enough volunteers return to do 11-3 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 12-4 p.m. on two Saturdays during the month.

“So we’re in desperate need for more volunteers so we can hopefully get the hours back to where they used to be,” said Dodgshon.

For a volunteer application form go to facebook.com/RMHAuxiliaryGiftShop.


Have a story tip? Email: cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

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