London Drugs staff met with residents of Good Samaritan Heron Grove to deliver presents donated by customers on Tuesday. (Contributed)

Vernon seniors get makeovers along with their Christmas gifts

London Drugs staff visited Good Samaritan Heron Grove for their annual Stockings for Seniors program

It feels good to look good, and on Tuesday, seniors in Vernon were treated to some beautification.

Staff at London Drugs went to Good Samaritan Heron Grove bearing blue bags filled with stocking stuffers donated by their customers.

And as an added gift, the store cosmetician was there to get the ladies dolled up for an afternoon tea.

Looking in the mirror after getting her hair done by Sheila Mandreck — Heron Grove’s in-house salon expert — Yvonne Williment said she looked “like a new old person.”

A resident at Heron Grove for the past seven months, Williment said it’s the first time she’s had this kind of special treatment.

“That was the first time I’d ever had makeup done on my old self,” she said.

“She did a lovely job, and I was pleased to meet her, too!”

London Drugs cosmetician Paige Beauregard was busy beautifying about 10 residents in the morning.

It’s the second year in a row she’s done so around Christmas, and she hopes it won’t be the last.

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“It’s just really rewarding because they’re so happy once you do their makeup and they feel so beautiful,” Beauregard said.

“I hope we can continue doing this for sure because it’s great for them and it’s great for us. We love to do it.”

The bags the staff members brought in are filled with items requested by local seniors, which were written on tags and hung on a Christmas tree in the front entrance of the London Drugs in the Vernon Square mall.

Customers were invited to take a request from the tree, committing to donating the items.

More than 400 bags were delivered this year, 337 going to the Salvation Army and the rest to eight retirement homes in town.

It’s the fourth year the store has taken part in the London Drugs Stockings for Seniors program, and judging by the growth in support it’s received year over year, it’s becoming a holiday mainstay.

“People were calling in October asking when it was starting and it’s nice to see the community embrace it,” said Michele Materi-Baker, London Drugs general merchandise department manager.

“This community is amazing and just so giving. I do other things with the Lion’s Club and there’s just always big community support.”

Some residents at Heron Grove don’t have family living nearby and wouldn’t otherwise have a gift to open on Christmas Day.

Chris Smith, volunteer recreation co-ordinator, works with London Drugs staff to make sure those residents have a stocking stuffer for Christmas morning.

“They wake up and then the staff help them open their presents, so it’s really neat,” Smith said.

Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
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