Donald LeBlanc ties off the ribbon to a packaged coffee mug with his hands and puts it on a pile with the other presents he’s wrapped that morning. One down — only 2,899 more to go.
The Little Elves Foundation held its annual gift-wrapping drive over the weekend, where volunteers gathered at Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf, poring over tables of wrapping paper and ribbons to prepare some 4,400 gifts for delivery to isolated people living with HIV-AIDS.
The project was the brainchild of Sylvain Duhamel, who lost his partner to AIDS-related causes 27 years ago.
The foundation raises more than $30,000 a year to buy gifts, largely through the sale of peanuts.
Duhamel said the first time he delivered gifts to a stranger, the person “wanted to know who they were from,” he said. “So that’s where I came up with the idea of saying they were from ‘little elves.'”
The presents are distributed on Christmas Eve to men, women and children in about 50 hospices and community organizations across Canada.