Lynnwood seniors adopt five families

Chartwell Lynnwood Retirement residents and staff provided gifts and food for five families via the Salvation Army Adopt-A-Family program.

Lynnwood Retirement residents and staff load up a car with gifts and food for the five Chilliwack families that they have sponsored through the Salvation Army Adopt-A-Family program.

The residents of Chartwell Lynnwood Retirement are at it again.

They’re making Christmas wishes come true through the Adopt A Family program by the Salvation Army, for the third consecutive year.

In their first year, they sponsored one family, in their second – they sponsored two.

“We were able to sponsor five families this year,” said Lynnwood staff member Marie Lashley.

The residents have been raising money and making personal donations to the program for several months. They were able to raise $1400 cash and approximately $1500 worth of food donations.

“It’s been wonderful to work with the Salvation Army,” said Lynnwood general manager Heather Dyck. “The gifts are all tailored to what the families want, and the things they need or will enjoy.”

Each family provided a gift wish-list in advance, which also included the gender, ages, and sizes of the family members. That way, sponsors know that the recipients will get good use out of every gift.

Once they know what size PJ’s they wear, and if the children like Frozen or Star Wars, the sponsors head out on a shopping trip, channeling Santa Claus as they cheerfully check items off their list.

The five families that Lynnwood is sponsoring this year are single-parent families, coming from a range of circumstances.

“Our residents have a strong desire to give back to the community, and we really foster that here,” said Lashley. She stressed the value that residents gain when they know that they are contributing to the community.

Many of the residents have accessed the Salvation Army services in the past, or know someone who has.

“It could be any one of us,” Lashley pointed out.

Sponsors can feel confident in their efforts as each family application goes through a verification process to ensure that the needs are legitimate.

In addition to the gifts on the wish-list, the Lynnwood sponsors were able to provide turkey vouchers and Christmas dinner fixings, other food essentials, and a $40 Walmart gift card for each family to spend as they would like.

“It was so enjoyable knowing that we were helping local families,” said Dyck. “The gifts and the food are going to people in our own community.”

Residents and staff loaded the precious cargo into Lashley’s car on Wednesday morning, to be delivered to the Salvation Army. From there, the gifts will be organized, wrapped up, and ready for pick-up from the parents.

These kids are in for an incredible surprise on Christmas morning.

Learn more about the Adopt A Family program and how to take part at salvationarmychilliwack.ca.

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