On Oct. 4, 2020, Darcy Martin made a pledge.
It was her granddaughter Traci Genereaux’s birthday, the third such painful date to pass since the 18-year-old’s death.
Police don’t know the exact date of Genereaux’s death. In October 2017, her remains were found on a farm on Salmon River Road in Silver Creek, and though police suspicion is high, charges have yet to be laid.
With no closure, Martin and the rest of the family haven’t had a proper chance to grieve.
But instead of waiting for the phone call that would provide that closure, this year Martin decided to do what Traci, full of life and generosity, would have done.
She and the family went out of pocket to sponsor local families in need this Christmas season, and Martin invited anyone who wished to contribute to Traci’s Gift to donate what they could in Traci’s memory.
Martin worked with local groups such as All Our Family Outreach Society to itentify local families in need, before showering them with Christmas support.
“She loved Christmas and she loved giving. She was a very, very giving person. She’d give you the shirt off her back,” Martin said.
The results were more than she ever expected. With $4,000 raised, Martin was able to fill Christmas wish lists for five seniors, and deliver turkey dinners and heaps of gifts to six families in the North Okanagan.
“It was such a wonderful experience and everyone was so appreciative and thankful,” Martin said, having delivered the meals and parcels. “We also wandered through the mall (Village Green Centre) as elves and spread a lot of cheer.”
Martin describes Genereaux as bubbly and “crazy comedic,” but her most lasting impression was her kindness.
Martin says if circumstances allow, she’ll repeat the initiative next year.
Dropping off the presents to the families was emotional, though hugs had to be eschewed due to the pandemic.
“It was so great to be able to make someone else’s Christmas so much more special to them. We could see it in their faces and although they each wanted to hug us we had to give them a virtual one.”