Community generosity brightens Christmas for White Rock/South Surrey seniors

Some of the packages delievered to senior residents of the Evergreen Baptist campus included personalized cards. (Contributed photo)Some of the packages delievered to senior residents of the Evergreen Baptist campus included personalized cards. (Contributed photo)
Boxes and bags chock full of gifts for senior residents were delivered to the Evergreen Baptist campus last week. (Contributed photo)Boxes and bags chock full of gifts for senior residents were delivered to the Evergreen Baptist campus last week. (Contributed photo)
Boxes and bags chock full of gifts for senior residents were delivered to the Evergreen Baptist campus last week. (Contributed photo)Boxes and bags chock full of gifts for senior residents were delivered to the Evergreen Baptist campus last week. (Contributed photo)
Boxes and bags chock full of gifts for senior residents were delivered by the truckload to the Evergreen Baptist campus last week. (Contributed photo)Boxes and bags chock full of gifts for senior residents were delivered by the truckload to the Evergreen Baptist campus last week. (Contributed photo)
White Rock Seniors Village resident Jim Houghton – and every other long-term care resident at the residence – received an assortment of gifts this month, donated by the community through the London Drugs Stocking Stuffers for Seniors campaign. (Contributed photo)White Rock Seniors Village resident Jim Houghton – and every other long-term care resident at the residence – received an assortment of gifts this month, donated by the community through the London Drugs Stocking Stuffers for Seniors campaign. (Contributed photo)
White Rock Seniors Village resident Maria Ris – and every other long-term care resident at the residence – received an assortment of gifts this month, donated by the community through the London Drugs Stocking Stuffers for Seniors campaign. (Contributed photo)White Rock Seniors Village resident Maria Ris – and every other long-term care resident at the residence – received an assortment of gifts this month, donated by the community through the London Drugs Stocking Stuffers for Seniors campaign. (Contributed photo)
White Rock Seniors Village resident Myrna Sorum – and every other long-term care resident at the residence – received an assortment of gifts this month, donated by the community through the London Drugs Stocking Stuffers for Seniors campaign. (Contributed photo)White Rock Seniors Village resident Myrna Sorum – and every other long-term care resident at the residence – received an assortment of gifts this month, donated by the community through the London Drugs Stocking Stuffers for Seniors campaign. (Contributed photo)

Sorting through “truckloads” of gifts delivered for senior residents of the Evergreen Baptist campus, Michelle Krahn was overwhelmed with emotion.

“I cried,” the longtime recreation co-ordinator for the Evergreen Heights assisted living building said this week.

“I’ve been doing my job for many years and I’ve never had this type of generosity before for our residents. It’s just unbelievable. This will have a great impact. I need the community to know how thankful we are… how special they all are.”

Some 250 packages of holiday cheer – containing everything from blankets and vitamins to chocolates, puzzles and even personalized cards – were delivered to the Oxford Street campus last week, through London Drugs’ Stocking Stuffers for Seniors program.

The program invited community members to pick up a senior’s Christmas wish list from among tags with the information on display at London Drugs, and then purchase and donate the items for distribution over the holiday.

READ MORE: Stocking Stuffers for Seniors returns to London Drugs

The initiative has benefited thousands of seniors since launching in 2015, and officials say this year’s response has been the best yet, with more than 400 gifts collected locally.

Krahn said the connection is something she has “desperately” wanted to create for Evergreen seniors in past years, but had neither the time or manpower to make it happen.

“This year again it was the same thing. We’ve been all just so overwhelmed with work,” she said.

So when a London Drugs official called with news that gifts were available, Krahn didn’t hesitate.

“I said yes, please,” she said. “We have over 400 seniors on our campus. When I told her our numbers, she said, ‘I’m going to make more happen for you.’ And then they just kept coming by the truckloads.”

The gifts were quarantined for a few days and sorting got underway Wednesday (Dec. 16). Krahn said she expects she and her co-workers will surprise the residents with them on Christmas Day.

And while the focus of the gesture is to brighten the holiday for seniors, Krahn said staff also gain from it.

“It’s like when you just know how much they’re going through in being removed from society and from families, and then for us as staff to see the community reach out to our residents is just so meaningful,” she explained.

“They’ve become our family, too, and so when you see the joy in them, in our residents, then the joy just abounds in full to our staff as well.”

Evergreen wasn’t the only local residence to receive gifts.

Others to benefit included White Rock Seniors Village. Community relations manager Si Cussen said long-term care residents at the Maple Street facility were “over the moon” to receive the “beautiful assortment” of items.

Cussen described the gesture as “An Early Christmas testament to the love and support of White Rock South Surrey families.” She, too, shared a heartfelt thank-you to those who donated.

“Your generosity, love, and support brought many, many smiles to our residents,” she said.



tholmes@peacearchnews.com
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusSeniorsSurreyWhite Rock

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Record-setting high jumper Emma de Boer, who lives in Cloverdale and attends Holy Cross Regional High School in Fleetwood, will train and study architecture at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) next fall. (submitted photo)
Surrey jumper on a high after recruitment by UPenn track team

High jumper Emma de Boer aims to leave Cloverdale for Philadelphia next fall

Surrey RCMP Gang Enforcement Team street check. (File photo)
Surrey RCMP gang enforcement team seizes five vehicles

This was over 13 days, as SGET continues to target gang activity in this city

File photo
Surrey to borrow $150 million for three major recreation projects

That’s for a sports complex in the city centre, a sports and ice complex in Cloverdale and a community centre in Newton

The White Birch proposal for a six-storey rental-only building at 1485 Fir St. was turned down by council on Monday night. (Contributed rendering)
White Birch developer feels ‘betrayed’ by City of White Rock council

Application for new rental building at 1485 Fir St. turned down by council

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

RCMP officers wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 stand by. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
RCMP appeal for witnesses after hit-and-run leaves girl, 17, in critical condition

The Metro Vancouver teenager was found unconscious and critically injured after being hit: police

The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

Most Read