Gift-giving trolley in full swing at West Island Palliative Care Residence

KIRKLAND – It’s that time of the year again when many of us are scrambling to find our loved ones that perfect holiday gift.

But for those who aren’t able to go out in the dipping temperatures, volunteers at the West Island Palliative Care Residences (WIPCR) in Kirkland and Pointe-Claire are taking matter into their own hands.

“It started several years ago, the nurses and volunteers identified a need for the patients who are here: they can’t go out shopping for their Christmas presents, which they normally would do,” said Sandra Watson, volunteer program manager at WIPCR.

With that idea in mind, the gift giving trolley was born.

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Volunteers go room to room with a cart filled with dozens of gifts and offer patients the chance to choose presents to give to their families.

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There’s no limit on how many gifts a patient can choose.

Once they do, the volunteers wrap them, write a card and bring the presents back to the patient.

“To see these patients happy, feeling a bit normal, happy to be giving something to their family or their friends, it’s really enriching,” said Lynn Delisle.

All of the gifts on the cart are donated by people in the community – like Marielle Pantel, who walked into the residence Wednesday afternoon to give money.

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“It’s important because it’s that time of the year to give,” she told Global News.

The residence said the program is in its seventh year and they’re hoping to continue the tradition for years to come.

“It’s probably going to be their last Christmas and you know they still want to give gifts to their loved ones like they do every year,” said Watson.

“This will probably be the last gift that they’re going to be able to give to their loved ones.”

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