For The Morning Star
Every year, Heron Grove – a 130 bed care home residence in Vernon – does a Christmas Angel program for the individuals residing here.
Heron Grove employees go out and buy gifts for individuals who do not have families around to buy them anything for Christmas. The “Christmas Angels” stay anonymous to the recipient of the gift.
This year, we have had a tremendous amount of support for this program and many residents without family members around will wake up with a gift under the tree.
Further to the great work happening in-house by these Christmas Angels, London Drugs stepped up to the plate offering their Stocking Stuffers program to individuals living at Heron Grove who might not receive a gift for Christmas.
“We contact care homes in the community who then give us names and gift ideas for approximately 10 seniors at their facility,” said Michele Materi-Baker of London Drugs. “We fill out tags and put them on the Christmas tree for customers to choose and fulfill at their retailer of choice. We also make up tags with miscellaneous items on them for the Salvation Army.”
Materi-Baker is the coordinator of the Stocking Stuffers program and enjoys the role.
“I really enjoy taking care of this program,” she said. “All of the caregivers and recreation staff at the local facilities including Heron Grove are awesome. What they do is invaluable.”
The community has responded in a big way to the program.
“We did 302 bags total; 227 to Salvation Army and 75 to eight different care homes. Last year we did 200 total,” said Materi-Baker. “It was very heartwarming to talk to the caregivers at the facilities and a few of the seniors. They were so incredibly thankful as many of these seniors have no family at all.”
Thank you to all involved in these special projects this holiday season.
Chris Smith is the Recreation and Volunteer Coordinator for Good Samaritan Heron Grove