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Holiday gift drive underway for low-income adults in qathet region

inclusion Powell River seeks donations for seniors
SPREADING JOY: inclusion Powell River administrative assistant Serena Ross [left] and manager of seniors services Stacy Mogan, in the newly renovated Gerry Gray Place on Alberni Street, are collecting donations of holiday gifts for low-income seniors.

inclusion Powell River (iPR) is working to spread some joy this holiday season with a holiday gift drive for low-income seniors in the community.

Stacy Mogan, manager of seniors services at iPR, said the organization is collecting holiday gifts to share with the low-income and isolated adults who it supports in the qathet region.

“We have a lot of low-income seniors who have no support group in town, no family, no friends – really isolated people,” said Mogan. “Our target market is to reach them and make sure they have what they need for the holidays and moving forward.

“We’re looking, for example, for anything that would be a comfort item, such as slippers, gloves, and we have someone who is donating a bunch of blankets.”

iPR is also looking for items such as books or magazines, kitchen essentials and snacks, board games and puzzles, warm clothes, gift cards for groceries and toiletries.

This is the first year the holiday gift drive has been tried. Mogan said donations are starting to come in.

She said there are identified low-income seniors who can benefit from the holiday gift donations. There are about 200 people in the Better at Home program, plus the Supporting Older Adults through Recreation (SOAR) program, which will run out of the newly renovated Gerry Gray Place location at 106-7075 Alberni Street, she added.

According to Mogan, this will make a big difference to gift drive recipients over the holidays.

In addition to the gift drive, Mogan said there will be a Christmas dinner at Gerry Gray Place on December 15. The centre has a new kitchen facility to help out with meal preparation.

“We will distribute gifts to the ones who come here, and to people who are shut-in,” added Mogan. “We have a number of people who are not able to get out due to vaccination issues or mobility issues, so we are going to deliver Christmas dinner to them, and gifts. We’re looking forward to distributing the holiday gifts throughout the community and for them to have the kinds of things that they require.

“I hear the stories all of the time about people who have no family, no friends, who are completely on their own in town. It’s a huge difference for them at Christmastime to have a little something and for them to feel like they are part of the community.”

Mogan said the generosity of people in this community is “pretty amazing.” She is hoping that the donations pick up and the holiday gift drive can become an annual event.

Donations are being accepted at the Gerry Gray Centre from Monday to Friday, 1 to 3 pm, or by appointment, until December 10. For more information, call 604.485.4008.