Shannon Oaks team of elves cover Christmas

Wrapping party in Oak Bay helps seniors be a Santa

Resident Dorothy Evans wraps gifts at Shannon Oaks retirement village for the Home Instead Senior Care program

Gifts pile on chairs and floors, more are tucked in boxes, and bags and bows adorn table tops at Shannon Oaks retirement village in Oak Bay.

Here, Santa’s elves are busy putting the wrap on Christmas.

Peggy Hancyk, chief executive elf at Home Instead Senior Care, bustles around the room making sure all tags are accounted for, gifts are lumped together and everyone has basics: tape, ribbons, paper and scissors.

Louise Rose is expected on the piano any minute, but holiday classics fill the air thanks to charter resident Darlaine Bagshaw, a regular pianist at the residence.

The atmosphere is the norm for the annual Be a Santa to a Senior wrapping party in Oak Bay.

Home Instead Senior Care partners with local non-profit and community organizations to identify seniors who might not otherwise receive gifts for Christmas.

Hancyk works with local businesses and stores to purchase and distribute gifts. Some are purchased through donations, some by kind souls who take a senior’s gift request written on a Be a Santa to a Senior tree ornament.

“It’s a way for seniors to help other seniors,” says Hancyk, adding it’s the 11th year of the program in Greater Victoria.

“We contact agencies and facilities in the city, sometimes people call us about a neighbour or a friend that is isolated or disadvantaged,” she said.

“They tell us the size and what they might need. Many have no family, nobody to supply them with things … I put that information on ornaments and hang them on trees in different places.”

The trees show up in Walmart, the Quadra Street London Drugs and the Tillicum Save on Foods. It’s not unusual for requests to include food or pharmacy gift cards.

“Shoppers can pick one up or two (ornaments) and I’ll have several (gift) suggestions on there.

Some people will buy them all and some will buy one. Then I collect them all again,” said the head elf. “Every year Shannon Oaks has the wrapping party, we have a lovely afternoon. A lot of people love to volunteer.”

Following the frenzied afternoon of gift wrapping, Santa’s helpers deliver the packages to individuals, organizations and care facilities.

“It’s a pleasure to be able to do. You get to touch base with them every year, and it makes it more personal,” Hancyk said. “There’s something about being anonymous and cheerful and saying ‘this is for you’.”

For more information visit beasantatoasenior.com.

 

Just Posted

Belgian man searches for family of fallen First World War soldier from Victoria

Mark Edward Berton attended Victoria High School and has his grave in Flanders Field

Oak Bay artist co-op highlights autobiographical Snapshots showcase

Snapshots runs from June 4 to 22 at Gage Gallery, 2031 Oak Bay Ave.

Saanich preschool celebrates 30 years with reunion event

Thousands invited RSVP for Carrot Seed Preschool 30-year celebration

Sidney Museum’s Chief Dan George exhibition sees surge of interest

Four mayors, federal Green leader, Tsartlip reps to attend June 21 opening ceremony

Federal government actions hurt Sooke hatchery fundraising efforts

Funding denial comes on the heels of fishing closures

REPLAY: The best videos from across B.C. this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week in the province

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon’s trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen found in torched SUV

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Most Read