Surrey residents donate Christmas gifts to 200 seniors

Cloverdale London Drugs brings back popular Stocking Stuffers for Seniors program

Cloverdale’s London Drugs brought back their popular Stocking Stuffers for Seniors program with an expanded Christmas wish list this year.

Last year, the store reached out to Zion Park Manor, a Cloverdale seniors’ residence, to start up the program. The residence made a wish list for 35 of their residents of gifts that could be purchased at the store, including items such as blankets, chocolates and bean-bag heating pads.

This year the donation drive expanded, and the store took in close to 200 wish lists from both Zion Park Manor and Rosemary Heights Seniors Village, according to assistant store manager Jill Church.

The wish lists are simple and short. Lipstick, slippers, socks and other items are written onto gift tags and hung on the in-store Christmas tree. Shoppers were then invited to pick up a tag and become a secret Santa for a senior, purchasing a gift and donating it while they shopped.

The program really “took off” last year, said Church, and she had customers asking about it since the summer.

When Church spoke to the Cloverdale Reporter on Tuesday morning (Nov. 28) she had just hung the last batch of tags on the store’s Christmas tree. “It’s looking pretty bare today,” she said. “I expect we’ll run out by the end of the day.”

Church said she was moved when customers came in to donate gifts that had an extra personal touch. One woman donated knitted blankets, and one family tucked drawings from their children into the gift basket.

“It’s just really nice to see so many people participate,” she said.

This year a team of London Drugs staff will donate their time to wrap the gifts, and Church said they’ll be delivered to the seniors’ residences the week before Christmas.

The program will “definitely return” next year, said Church.

“I can’t see it stopping,” she said. “I can only see it getting bigger.”

The Stocking Stuffers for Seniors program is now run in many London Drugs stores across the country. The donation campaign has run in other Lower Mainland stores before, but this is the first year that London Drugs has introduced it in stores across the country. In Edmonton, Church said, the London Drugs location is expected to deliver gifts to around 4,000 seniors.

“I don’t know how they find storage for all this stuff,” she said, laughing. She explained that her office and the back room of the Cloverdale London Drugs was filled with gifts, but that it was a “good sort of problem to have.”

“We really appreciate the kindness of people. We’ve got seniors, kids, young families buying for seniors — at all ages there’s generosity.”

The Cloverdale London Drugs is located at 17685 64 Avenue.

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