Chilliwack & District Seniors’ Resources Society is collecting names of local elders who are alone and isolated for the Christmas Stocking Program (Submitted photo)

Festive stockings filled in Chilliwack for lonely seniors

Eighth year of the Christmas Stocking Program that helps brighten the season for local elders

The thoughtful little gifts tucked into a festive stocking and delivered by volunteers may be the only reminder it’s Christmas for some local seniors.

The Chilliwack & District Seniors’ Resources Society is gathering names of those who might be on their own and isolated, with no family nearby, or low-income.

They will fill and deliver the colourful stockings for them as part of their Seniors’ Christmas Stocking Program, said Coletta Holmes, executive director of CDSRS.

“For some it is their only symbol of Christmas. If they have no decorations, no dinner or gifts, this is Christmas for them,” Holmes said. “It’s exciting to receive a stocking.”

So they work hard on it every year, getting suggestions, and ideas of what little items or toiletries to include.

Last year they had 40 names on the list of stocking recipients. It’s been growing every year.

They get a hand from generous Royal Lepage Wheeler Cheam Realty volunteers, who happily fill festive stockings with customized gifts based on the seniors’ interests.

Royal Lepage realtor Betty Champ said at first the company started the stocking drive for kids, and then added seniors as well.

It was because it became obvious that they were sometimes overlooked, so they decided to address it.

“It was because I’d had some experience with seniors’ issues and my own mom,” she said. “I noticed so many seniors don’t have anyone around over the Christmas season. They can get forgotten. So we started collecting for seniors as well.”

The program is in its eighth year.

“We find out what they like, such as cats or do they have a sweet tooth, so we can get together more personalized gifts.”

It brightens up their day, and each item is a surprise.

“I don’t think people realize how many seniors we have in that situation,” said Champ.

They’re in the process now of gathering resources to fill the stockings at the realty office.

Members of the public can drop by at the Royal Lepage Wheeler Cheam office at 8337 Young Road, and chip in $2 for a stocking. Some like to donate in a memory of parent or loved one.

The first batch of stockings goes out on Dec. 15.

Care to help? If you know of anyone that may benefit from receiving a stocking, please email programs@cdsrs.ca by December 15, providing the recipient’s name, interests (for example, gardening, pets, or chocolate), and delivery address.


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

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