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Non-profit helps ensure our seniors aren’t forgotten
Adam Gamble, CTV Regina
Published Sunday, November 27, 2016 6:07PM CST
Last Updated Sunday, November 27, 2016 6:53PM CST
Rosalie Schmidt knows what it's like to be forgotten at Christmas time. But for the past six years, the 71-year-old has been receiving presents from anonymous people -- secret Santas.
"I got clothes, I got nighties -- a lot of stuff," she said.
Schmidt is among the thousands of Saskatchewan seniors who have received gifts through Santa for Seniors Southern Saskatchewan. Started by Sean Louvel and his wife in 2010, the non-profit organization gives out labelled gift tags, which are then returned in present form and delivered to care homes in time for Christmas.
"Last year, we did about 900 seniors. This year, we're up to almost 1,600 with their help,” said
Sean Louvel, head director of Santa for Seniors. “That includes all of the Qu'appelle health region--all of the homes here are part of that--and we have some homes outside of the city."
One local business has also joined in on the cause. For the second straight year, London Drugs is giving out gift tags at its two Regina stores in hopes of helping more seniors this Christmas.
"Our customers take the tags home, they can buy the gifts anywhere, bring them back, hopefully wrapped in bags, and with the tag on them and return them to our store by December 10 or 12,” said Corey Muir, manager of London Drugs Grasslands. “That way we can get them off to Sean and brought back to the senior centre and the appropriate person."
Whether it's something sweet, or something snuggly, the presents seniors ask for, and secret Santas bring, aren't taken for granted.
"I don’t get presents. Even my son doesn't give me a present. So, I really appreciate it when Santa gives me a present. I really love it," said Schmidt.