Christmas Cheer

I would like to tell you the story about how I decided to bring a little Christmas Cheer to the Residents at Princess Court on Christmas Day 2020. 

For those that didn't know, prior to the Pandemic, I was volunteering at Princess Court in Dryden, ON.  I was going in monthly to do art classes with the Residents.

I was missing volunteering and I was trying to find a way to do something for the Residents when I came up with the idea (on Dec. 1st), of providing a homemade card and a playful gift for each Resident. 

The next thought was, how am I going to do that?  I called my dear friend Carrie, who works at PC and I asked her what she thought and if she would ask for permission and if it was possible for me to do this. 

When Carrie came back with a yes, I was ecstatic. I was even more excited when I was given the okay to go in to help give out the gifts ( I had a Covid test and followed all the rules to be able to go in and help Carrie on the day).

It felt so good to have a mission.  Thing was, there are 95 Residents, so how was I going to pay for this? I decided to contact some of the people on my business email list and Facebook page.  I thought, “I’ll put it out there and see if I can get some donations to help me pay for this.”

I could not have been more surprised and I was overwhelmed with GRATITUDE for the outpouring of support.  I had more than enough money, plus offers of help to get cards made, packages wrapped and some floral arrangements made to do everything on my list and more.

In a very short time it all came together.  I had donations of money coming in, which allowed me to purchase the gifts I had in mind.  I wanted the gifts to be FUN, less practical.  I bought stuffed toys, adult colouring books and markers, toy trucks and tractors, puzzles and more.  We put together floral arrangements ,  homemade Christmas cards and I had help with the wrapping.  I had donations of gifts, some chocolate and even goodies for the staff to show our appreciation.   It really was fun getting to put everything together.

Due to the amazing generosity, I also put together gifts for the Residents in the apartments at Eagleview Terrace in Vermilion Bay and Eagle River Friendship Terrace.  It was wonderful to be able to spread the joy just a little further. 

I delivered the gifts on Christmas Eve to the Apartments.  Then Carrie and I played Mrs. Claus (there can be two right?), at Princess Court on Christmas Day.  It felt so good to be able to make a tiny difference in their day and spread a little Christmas Cheer.

My only regret is that I did not get a picture of Carrie helping me and all the others too. We just got so busy doing getting things done, that we forgot to take pictures. Next time.

It was such a success and I am really hoping we were able to put a smile on a few faces this Christmas.  I am already trying to figure out how I can do it again next year and reach out a little bit further.

Thank you to all these amazing people that helped me accomplish all of this with such short notice.

Carrie Schultz
Vermilion Bay Coop
Shirley Korniak
Lucille Rhyner
Laurel Pilkey
Shannon Elliot
Marion Dennis
Linda Hutchinson
Gail Pencoff
Bill Pencoff
Lorraine Malyk
Julia Estermann
Peggy Corbett
Ruth Jacklin
Jacque Romaniuk
Christine Penner Polle
Brianne Pollock
Miranda Steele
Jeannie McMaster
Debbie Brown
Toni & David Woitowicz
Pakwash Camp – Kimberly Anne Budweg
Shelly Robinson
Erick Ricter
Vermilion Bay Lodge – Suzanne & Gord Bastable
Gale & Bob Extence
Joni Alexander
Val Taylor
Juliette McDonald
Liz Lang
Debbie Lang
Jenna Weibe
Lynne & Gary Tourond
Forrest & Susan Mann
Breanne & Gary Friesen
Sandy Duncan
Judy McEwan
Doreen Leutschaft
Sparkling Dahlia – Erin Braybrook
Bulk Zone – Tammy Pavlin Reid
Mary & Gordon Therrien
Christine Bouchard
Sweet, Lake of the Woods Chocolate Shop – Alexis Pernsky
The Tasty Touch – Nancy Ross
Donna Morton
Vermilion Bay Cadets
Joanne and Kenneth Querel
Elaine Lindgren

5 thoughts on “Christmas Cheer”

  1. Wow! Great idea Helen for those in Princess Court who have contributed so much to our communities over the years and may be alone at Christmas due to several factors. Relatives at a distance, Covid, no one living locally etc.
    Thank you to all your generous individuals and businesses who helped you with your cause.
    Thanks to Carrie who helped initiate the idea.
    If this becomes a tradition, it is an amazing one so no one is forgotten at a very emotional time of year. Cheers! Mardi
    Everyone has such a giving heart!

  2. Helen, what a great thing you did for so many people! You pulled it off and gave so freely of yourself! I’m sure you have started a new tradition in a time where there has been such difficulty and separation from loved ones. I’m sure the faces of the residents were that of excitement and happiness when you presented them with their Christmas gift’s. Happy New Year to you and your helper’s!


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