Dianna Patton, Fiona Vandenberg and Erica Eriks wrap Christmas presents for Home Instead’s Be a Santa for a Senior program. (Aaron Hinks photo)

Dianna Patton, Fiona Vandenberg and Erica Eriks wrap Christmas presents for Home Instead’s Be a Santa for a Senior program. (Aaron Hinks photo)

Lonely South Surrey-White Rock seniors to receive gifts from community

Home Instead organizes 10th annual Be a Santa for a Senior program

Semiahmoo Peninsula seniors who would otherwise be spending the holidays alone are to receive a gift of compassion from residents of the community.

The Be a Santa to a Senior program – now in its 10th year and organized by Home Instead Senior Care – connects isolated or low-income seniors with presents purchased by members of the community.

Leading up to Christmas, the seniors created a wish list, which was attached to Christmas trees located in businesses in Surrey, White Rock and Langley. Generous residents picked a wish list off the tree and returned with a present.

The Seniors Come Share Society recommended a list of seniors for the program, who remain anonymous, apart from their first name. This year, 57 seniors enrolled in the program.

“Some of the wishes, it would break your heart,” Home Instead representative Laurie McPherson said. “You know, we have a fellow this year, he asked for bars of soap and Kleenex, and that was his wish list. It really breaks your heart.”

McPherson said the group contributed a little extra to that senior’s particular gift, including soap, Kleenex, chocolates, Christmas cookies and blankets.

“His box is full,” she said.

Once the presents are prepared, Home Instead volunteers deliver the gifts to the seniors.

“I’ve done it in the past, it’s just amazing. People are so happy and a lot of times, more than the gifts, they love to have someone come in and have a little visit with them,” McPherson said.

Although Home Instead provides non-medical care to seniors, including helping them stay independent and live in their own home, the Be a Santa to Senior participants are not clients of the organization, McPherson said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Council Chambers. (File photo)
Surrey city councillors complain not enough public input in committees

City has gone ‘exactly the opposite direction,’ Councillor Brenda Locke charges

Tsawwassen resident Angeline Splockton won $100,000 from a Luxury Crossword Scratch & Win ticket. (BCLC photo)
Nightly ritual turns into $100K win for Tsawwassen woman

Angeline Splockton uncovered 11 words on her Luxury Crossword Scratch & Win ticket

A Transit Police officer and another driver were injured on Nov. 4 in a traffic crash while the officer was responding to another officers call for help catching a man who escaped custody. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Police watchdog investigating Surrey crash that injured transit cop, another driver

Crash happened 11 p.m. Nov. 4, at 128th Street and 93rd Avenue in Cedar Hills

The Delta Hospice Society operates the Harold & Veronica Savage Centre for Supportive Care (pictured) and the Irene Thomas Hospice in Ladner. (The Canadian Press photo)
Fraser Health to evict Delta Hospice Society, open new hospice beds next door

Health authority will serve DHS 30 days’ notice when service agreement expires Feb. 25

An Amica White Rock resident receives the COVID-19 vaccine during a Jan. 15, 2021 clinic. (Tracy Holmes photo)
PHOTOS: South Surrey seniors grateful for ‘freedom’ of COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccination clinics at Fraser Health long-term and assisted-living sites were to wrap up Jan. 15

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Black Press media file
Port McNeill driver tells police he thought the pandemic meant no breathalyzers

Suspect facing criminal charges after breathalyzer readings in excess of 3.5 times the legal limit

Forestry companies in B.C. agree to abide by the cedar protocols based on traditional laws of the First Nation members of the Nanwakolas Council. (Photo courtesy, Nanwakolas Council)
Landmark deal sees B.C. forest firms treat big cedars like a First Nation would

Western Forest Products, Interfor among companies to adapt declaration drafted by Nanwakolas Council

Most Read