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‘Santa for Seniors’: N.B. students bring gifts and carols for seniors after cancelled fundraiser

Click to play video: 'Community members in Miramichi, N,B. spread holiday cheers to seniors' Community members in Miramichi, N,B. spread holiday cheers to seniors
WATCH: After an annual fundraiser for seniors had to be cancelled, students in the Miramichi area answered the call to help with assistance from the community and first responders. Callum Smith has more – Dec 17, 2020

After an annual holiday fundraiser in Miramichi, N.B., had to be cancelled, students in the area answered the call to help local seniors.

The idea was spearheaded by Max Aitken Academy, with vice-principal Krista Page taking the lead on the initiative.

She received a call recently that a local radio station wouldn’t be able to pull off an annual fundraiser — in which students have provided gifts for seniors in recent years — and brought the problem to students.

Eleven schools ended up participating, raising money by holding hat days or pyjama days. With donations of a dollar or two, they raised more than $6,000.

Once the word got out, local service clubs and local businesses contributed, bringing the total to about $9,000, Page says.

Read more: Christmas card campaign aims to comfort lonely B.C. seniors amid COVID-19

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With help from first responders earlier this week, those gifts were delivered to 270 residents at two seniors homes; Bridgeview Hall and Losier Hall.

Singing Christmas carols and seeing smiling faces inside the homes was a delight for Grade 8 student Craig Doyle.

“It’s nice to give to the seniors because, especially with COVID-19, you can’t get as many visitors,” Doyle says. “A lot of people aren’t allowed inside the seniors home so it’s nice just to give to (them).”

“We did a lot of stockings and we just kind of put some care packages in there, like shampoo and conditioner and body wash and stuff like that,” says Madison Vickers, another Grade 8 student.

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Treats were also included for the staff who’ve stepped up during the pandemic, Page says.

The initiative was dubbed ‘Santa for Seniors.’

And based on the smiles from some of the residents, it was certainly an enjoyable way to celebrate the holiday season with many restrictions getting in the way of typical gatherings.

“To see our residents to be able to see so happy, to have a celebration like this… Like I said it has been a challenging year, so to be able to do something to bring joy to them in this way… We’re very grateful.”

Read more: Fraser Health called Grinches for COVID-19 care home decoration policy

And a message from the vice-principal to share the love any way you can.

“If you have the time, our seniors really need our time and our love… And this is a wonderful way to do it,” Page says.

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Staff at Sackville nursing home will be among the first in N.B. to get the COVID-19 vaccine – Dec 16, 2020

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