Making the holiday season bright for seniors in need in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

The sixth annual Seniors Helping Santa project is underway

Seniors collect items throughout the year to help other seniors in the community. (Special to The News)

Seniors collect items throughout the year to help other seniors in the community. (Special to The News)

A Christmas tree has popped up in front of London Drugs in ValleyFair Mall decorated with little tags containing special wish lists.

Each list contains items for a senior in need in the community that another group of seniors is hoping to have filled.

The sixth annual Ridge Meadows Seniors Society’s Seniors Helping Santa project is up and running.

“Last year we did 250 bags,” noted Bev Schmahmann, outreach services coordinator with the seniors society. People were even donating boutique items and including hand-written notes, paintings, and children’s drawings.

“And it was wonderful,” she said.

Anyone wanting to donate can take a wish list from the tree. Purchase the items on the list and put them in a gift bag along with the tag and leave them at the customer service desk at London Drugs.

The lists are all similar, said Schmahmann, with items like toiletries, essentials, gloves, scarves, and a London Drugs gift card.

They are items that seniors have told the society they are in need of over the years. And, they are also items that seniors don’t tend to purchase for themselves either, said Schmahmann.

Some people even purchase an extra gift to stick in the gift bag.

READ MORE: Community digs deep for the Ridge Meadows Seniors Society’s Seniors Helping Santa project

Seven volunteers from the seniors society are helping to coordinate the event this year, along with two drivers who will help collect the donations from the store and deliver them to the recipients.

“I think the need is as great as its always been. There’s been a lot of pressure on rent. Rents have gone up and housing is hugely expensive. So all of their costs have gone up and this kind of donation or gift at Christmas certainly helps,” remarked Schmahmann. “We have people who depend on us at Christmas to do this.”.

ALSO: Maple Ridge seniors helping Santa

The bags will be delivered during the last week before Christmas around the Dec. 15.

ValleyFair Mall is located at 22709 Lougheed Highway in Maple Ridge.

For more information about the Ridge Meadows Seniors Society go to rmssseniors.org.


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

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

maple ridgeSeniors