Sooke community brings holiday cheer to sick elderly man

In a small community like Sooke, people like to take care of one another, especially around the holidays.

On Sunday night, Sooke residents joined together to bring Christmas cheer to a local man who is unwell.

After the Santa Parade, more than 30 people showed up outside the man and his wife’s house to sing Christmas carols.

Melissa Brilling, who organized the carolling event, said she just wanted to brighten up the holidays for the elderly couple.

“I personally know how the holidays are when someone isn’t well,” said Brilling.

Brilling lost her mother almost three years ago on Dec. 29, and said when she was in Nova Scotia spending the holidays at the hospital with her mom, the community stepped up and took care of her family.

“We would come home and there would be food in the oven, and all the decorations were put up for us. We didn’t have to do anything and it still felt like Christmas, so I just wanted to try and create that same sense of community and love,” Brilling said.

Stick in the Mud coffeehouse donated hot chocolate, and 20 children from Amber Academy also showed up to show their support.

Keli Dunn, founder of Amber Academy, said the kids were able to participate in the carolling were very moved by it.

“It doesn’t take much to make a difference to someone else,” said Dunn. “It’s easy to get caught up in our day-to-day situations, but I think it’s very important to just take some time and look around, and see where you can give back. There’s so much more to life than our day-to-day. “

Dunn said when the kids came over from the parade, they were feeling very spirited and wanted to bring that same Christmas cheer to the couple.

“We have a wonderful community here in Sooke, and I think it was really meaningful for the couple to know that the community is here for them,” said Dunn. “It was very special for the kids as well, to see that they can make a difference.”

Brilling agreed saying the couple was excited to see all the carollers and extremely happy with the music, adding that the best part of the night was seeing how surprised they were when they opened up the blinds.

“They looked like little kids in a candy store, it was so great,” said Brilling. “You just never know who has a hard time with holidays, and you never know what someone might be going through, so you might as well take care of everybody every day.”

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