Santa for Seniors is expanding in the West Island

Alana Edwards beside a Santa for Seniors tree (November 2020)

Kirkland resident Alana Edwards, along with her team of volunteers, is running her ‘Santa to a Senior’ gift giving program again this year. Edwards launched the program the year before the first “COVID” holiday season and had to adjust to keep her program running in her second year, last year.

The initiative has grown significantly over the past three years. Five hundred seniors in five residences benefitted from the program in the first year and this year 2,100 seniors in 26 residences will receive a gift.

Thirteen Christmas trees decorated with name tags have been set up in ten businesses across the West Island, including Provigo Le Marché Kirkland and Lub-DDO. Pierrefonds Community High School and newly opened Café CoCo & Bean in Beaurepaire Village are participating for the first time this year.

Edwards has encouraged friends and her young children to participate in the program over the years to serve a larger population of seniors living in residences.

Each year, she begins by contacting seniors residences’ to collect names of seniors spending the holidays in West Island nursing homes to personalize their gifts with tags. The tags are placed on Christmas trees in several local shops around the West Island. Shoppers who wish to contribute are encouraged to pick a name off the trees and buy a small gift to be placed under the trees unwrapped.

Edwards and her team then collect the gift items, wrap them and deliver them to the participating seniors residences.

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