VIDEO: That’s a wrap: Be a Santa to a Senior packages ready to go out

Program hands out more than 600 gifts to Greater Victoria seniors

The annual wrap party at Shannon Oaks kicks off a flurry of gift-giving across Greater Victoria.

Volunteers at the Oak Bay residence prettied up the final packages for the Home Instead Senior Care program, Be a Santa to a Senior program this afternoon (Dec. 15). Adaptable clothing, comfy pyjamas and stuffed animals are among the items the Be a Santa to a Senior program will deliver ahead of the holiday.

Peggy Hancyk, head elf for the program, puts tags on trees in the malls and other high traffic areas early in the holiday season. People pluck those wishes off the trees and fulfill them.

“It says to the people that are getting them ‘you’re not forgotten. There’s somebody that cares,’ says Hancyk.

Some even include hand written notes. “The gifts are chosen with such care, we put suggestions out and a lot of people buy all the things on the list not just one. But whatever comes in it’s gratefully received and given out to so many people who would be isolated, or financially unable to get anything new.”

The gifts are then sorted and sent out for wrapping. Among those is the Shannon Oaks wrap party in Oak Bay.

“I don’t wrap many presents anymore so it’s fun,” says resident Eunice Pole. There’s always a little piano music, and this year Brian and Cate Noakes entertained with stories and song alongside the traditional tea and goodies.

“The seniors here love to be able to participate,” says Hancyk. “We do somewhere in the neighbourhood of 600 gifts throughout the season.”

It’s an important event for the local seniors as well, says Chaplain Keith Johnson of Shannon Oaks.

“It’s seniors helping seniors and giving a little bit of love to others.”
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Pat Ramsay (left) and Marion Adams wrap gifts at Shannon Oaks for the Be a Santa to a Senior program. (Christine van Reeuwyk/Oak Bay News) Pat Ramsay (left) and Marion Adams wrap gifts at Shannon Oaks for the Be a Santa to a Senior program. (Christine van Reeuwyk/Oak Bay News)

Canadian Suite Duo Brian and Cate Noakes perform at Shannon Oaks for the Be a Santa to a Senior program volunteer wrappers. (Christine van Reeuwyk/Oak Bay News)

Eunice Pole (back), Pat Ramsay (left) and Marion Adams wrap gifts at Shannon Oaks for the Be a Santa to a Senior program. (Christine van Reeuwyk/Oak Bay News)

Be a Santa to a Senior program. (Christine van Reeuwyk/Oak Bay News)

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