Decorating Christmas stockings for Edmonton inner-city seniors

Canterbury Foundation residents decorate stockings for inner-city seniors. Morgan Black/Global News

Seniors and elementary students spent Tuesday afternoon decorating Christmas stockings that will be donated to inner-city seniors in Edmonton.

The stockings will be included as part of the London Drugs Stocking Stuffers for Seniors campaign.

It asks seniors in need to write down what they would like for Christmas on a small tag — often their requests are for items like mittens, socks, chocolate or books.

“The first year we did this, a gentleman asked for cans of soup. That breaks your heart,” said Jimmy Morrison with Operation Friendship Seniors Society. “A lady this year asked for a friend for Christmas.”

Morrison said it’s very meaningful for seniors to know others are part of the initiative.

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“Seniors, even those that are well-off, know that one bad break in your life and you are in the same boat as our residents. When we deliver to the residents, I like to share where these stockings came from so that they know who is giving,” Morrison said. “The greatest thing I’ve ever gotten from this campaign is at the end when the seniors say ‘Thank you. Someone cares about me.'”

Canterbury resident Elsie Larose joined dozens of seniors who were busy decorating stockings on Tuesday.

“I like to do things like this. I like to do crafts,” Larose said. “I think it would make anyone feel good [to help decorate], especially when we have so much. We have everything here really, but I know there’s a lot of people that don’t. ”

Larose said she and her friends feel they get something out of the experience as well.

“We still have a lot of [drive] in us to help people. I always worked with people. I miss that the most. I like to think I helped people [in my past],” Larose said.
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The tags are placed on Christmas trees inside London Drugs stores, where customers can pick them and fulfill the senior’s specific wishes. Unwrapped gifts are then returned to the store’s customer service desk.

WATCH: London Drugs’ ‘Stocking Stuffers for Seniors’ campaign from 2018

“Many of our residents have been community supporters, professionals and philanthropists their entire lives,” Canterbury Foundation resident Bruce Hogle said.

“By participating — even in a small way — to this campaign, it helps us continue to give back and brighten the holidays for seniors who need it most.”

This year Stockings Stuffers for Seniors hopes to bring extra holiday cheer to over 17,000 seniors across Western Canada.

READ MORE: Donation drives bring in more than 300 gifts for Lethbridge seniors spending Christmas alone this year

“This initiative was started to bring cheer to inner-city seniors here in Edmonton and it’s amazing to see how much it has grown,” said Morrison. “We’re so grateful to have our friends at Canterbury and the students of Laurier Heights School come together to spread the joy this holiday season.”

The campaign runs from Monday, Nov. 18 until Monday, Dec. 16.

In the days leading up to Christmas, Santa and his elves will deliver the gifts to the seniors.

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“I would love to hear what enjoyment [the seniors] got out of the stockings when they get one. It would be great for us to know.”

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