Jo-Ann Johnston hangs out with with her papillon

Jo-Ann Johnston hangs out with with her papillon

St. John Ambulance sets safety up

St. John Ambulance, a first aid and safety charity, has a charitable holiday program

Meaningful gifts with purpose are getting seniors and children SET for Safety.

St. John Ambulance, a first aid and safety charity, has a charitable holiday program to directly motivate people to be SET for Safety all while making a direct impact with seniors and children in B.C. and Yukon communities.

“There are so many gift options out there for the holidays and studies show people are spending less and wanting more,” said Sandy Gerber, marketing director at St. John Ambulance.

“We really wanted to create something unique and inspiring; meaningful gift sets with a social purpose that impact our local communities.”

St. John Ambulance has created a limited quantity of six GiftSETs, each with a therapy dog plush toy, Joy, and a purpose that directly supports children, seniors, pets, families and communities.

“By purchasing a Moment of Joy GiftSET, you contribute to a unique moment of joy to those who need it in the local community,” said Gerber.

The Seniors GiftSET provides 10 senior residents with a visit from the charity’s therapy dog program, the Community GiftSET outfits volunteer medical first responders with two first aid kits for community events and the Children’s GiftSET helps three children improve their reading skills by sitting with, and reading to, an attentive and non-judgmental therapy dog of the Paws 4 Stories team.

“Among our many charitable services, our therapy dog program is quite special in that it’s mostly based on engaging people and making them smile,” said Leigh Ciurka, the charity’s therapy dog co-ordinator.

“It’s not just a moment of joy for the recipient of the stuffy – it’s a moment of joy for several other people who might really need it. The holidays can also be a difficult and emotional time for many people, especially if they’re feeling disconnected from loved ones.”

In 2015, the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy produced the What Canadian Donors Want survey and it reported results that Canadians are looking for a clear mission and evidence of impact; trust in the charitable sector is rising; fewer donors are giving, but amount of gifts are increasing.

“The What Canadian Donors Want report gives all of Canadians a reliable barometer of citizen impact on the work being done to advance communities and causes,” said Leah Eustace, chairperson of the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy-Canada.

“But it also provides critical information to Canada’s charitable sector leaders about what motivates donors to be generous and the expectations donors have for solicitation and stewardship of their money.”

To get more information on a St. John Ambulance GiftSET, visit