From left: Judy Ballard and Jackie Oxford, both volunteers with the Ridge Meadows Seniors Society; Bev Schmahmann, outreach coordinator with the society; Brendan Anderson, department manager at the London Drugs in ValleyFair Mall; and Janette Hawley, another volunteer with the seniors society – stand by the Christmas tree where tags with wish lists for seniors in need in the community have been hung. (Special to The News)

From left: Judy Ballard and Jackie Oxford, both volunteers with the Ridge Meadows Seniors Society; Bev Schmahmann, outreach coordinator with the society; Brendan Anderson, department manager at the London Drugs in ValleyFair Mall; and Janette Hawley, another volunteer with the seniors society – stand by the Christmas tree where tags with wish lists for seniors in need in the community have been hung. (Special to The News)

Seniors are helping Santa this year for Christmas

The seventh annual campaign to help seniors in need is underway

A Christmas tree has sprouted up outside London Drugs in ValleyFair Mall for the seventh annual Seniors Helping Santa community drive.

On the tree with frosted branches, are tags, containing a wish list for a senior in need in Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and Bev Schmahmann, outreach coordinator with the Ridge Meadows Seniors Society, is hoping each list will be filled by Thursday, Dec. 15 – in time to be delivered for Christmas.

“The need is high,” said Schmahmann.

Schmahmann noted that with inflation as high as it is right now, many seniors are not able to purchase the basic needs for themselves.

Each gift tag is similar and includes general items every senior needs like: medical supplies like Polysporin and Band-Aids; a toothbrush and toothpaste; deodorant; shampoo and conditioner; gloves and a toque; puzzle books; and hair brushes as well.

“So really basic needs. Plus some gifts that we give them,” noted Schmahmann, in addition to a treat like chocolate or cookies.

“We try and encompass what they really may need and then add something that is a gift as well,” she said.

In previous years people have even donated extra gifts like boutique items, hand-written notes, paintings, and children’s drawings.

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

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

Schmahmann said the number of seniors they service every year has risen from 200 people to 250 and she is expecting even more this year.

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.

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

For additional information about Seniors Helping Santa contact Schmahmann at 604-380-0516.

Information about the Ridge Meadows Seniors Society can be found at rmssseniors.org.


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

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