Be a Santa to a Senior program collects more than 300 gifts in Prince County

Colin MacLean
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SUMMERSIDE – Everyone deserves to have a gift to open on Christmas morning.

This was the unifying sentiment that brought several people to one of the community rooms in Credit Union Place on Tuesday, to help wrap gifts destined for Island seniors.

These were volunteers with the Home Instead Senior Care, Be a Santa to a Senior program.

Heather Blouin, a community services coordinator for the company, said on Tuesday that this is her first year participating in the program and she’s been blown away by the response.

“The thought that people put into the gifts and how many items are in each – it’s overwhelming,” said Blouin.

“I guess it just shows that people really care about seniors. It’s pretty heartwarming to be involved with.”

The Be a Santa to Senior program has been ongoing on P.E.I. for several years. Its mission is to match personalized gifts to Island seniors who may be alone for the holidays.

Shoppers pick up the seniors’ requests from cards hanging on trees stationed at various retail locations.

The program receives close to 1,000 gift requests from across the Island and more than 300 in Prince County.

Every request is filled, and Blouin estimates that this year’s tally is about the same as last year.

Margaret Arsenault volunteered to help wrap the locally collected presents because she doesn’t like the thought of anyone going through Christmas without some kind of gift.

“It’s Christmas time, it feels good to do something,” she said.

“What people are asking for is so little, some of them it’s just treats. To think that maybe that’s all they will have for Christmas, whereas someone else will have a whole lot. It’s good to give them something.”

“I hope everybody gets something, I hope there’s nobody left with nothing in our little Island.”

Jennifer Chaisson volunteered with an eye to the distant future.

 “I just want to do whatever I can to make seniors happy. I’m going to be a senior myself one day and I hope someone would be there for me if I don’t have a lot of family,” said Chaisson.

All the gifts collected by Be a Santa to a Senior will be delivered by volunteers in time for Christmas morning.

Colin.MacLean@JournalPioneer.com

@JournalPMacLean

Organizations: Credit Union Place, Home Instead Senior Care

Geographic location: Iceland, Prince

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  • don williams
    December 18, 2013 - 11:09

    God bless, i am a former Islander and check every so often to see what's happening, and what i've read here warms the heart, God bless and keep up the good work.