(Left to right) Abbeyfield House residents Connie Parman, Yvonne Hayward, Edna Dickinson, Denie Paddle, Anne Kujundzic and George Roberts sat among the piles of gifts received through the London Drugs Stocking Stuffers for Seniors program. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

(Left to right) Abbeyfield House residents Connie Parman, Yvonne Hayward, Edna Dickinson, Denie Paddle, Anne Kujundzic and George Roberts sat among the piles of gifts received through the London Drugs Stocking Stuffers for Seniors program. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Victoria tech company makes $2,000 Christmas donation to Saanich seniors’ home

Abbeyfield House residents benefit from smart TV, wireless headphones and more

Christmas came early for a group of Saanich seniors who received a large donation from a Victoria-based tech company wanting to spread holiday joy amid the pandemic.

On Dec. 22, staff from Tutela Technologies stopped by the Abbeyfield House St. Peters seniors’ home on Reynolds Road to drop off a collection of gifts including a 65” Sony Smart TV and several pairs of wireless headphones.

Abbeyfield House is a non-profit home for independent seniors – subsidized by BC Housing. The residence is home to 12 seniors who are among the recipients of the London Drugs’ annual Stocking Stuffers for Seniors program.

Every Christmas, staff work with Marco de Weerd, store manager at the Tillicum London Drugs, to organize gifts for residents, explained Tracy Gatabaki, Abbeyfield House coordinator.

This year, de Weerd connected Abbeyfield House with Tutela.

Brennen Chow, co-founder and vice president of operations, said the company tries to do something to give back to the community every year. The team typically volunteers with the Mustard Seed but, due to COVID-19, that wasn’t possible and they made the technology donation instead.

This donation is “unbelievable,” Gatabaki said, adding that the wireless headphones will allow residents that are hard of hearing to turn the volume up so they can enjoy movies and programs alongside the others.

Glenna Majeau, administrative assistant at Abbeyfield House, said technology plays a big role in residents’ lives, especially during the pandemic as many will have virtual visits with their families this year.

The residents also received other gifts through the Stocking Stuffers for Seniors program.

The donation this year was “nothing short of astounding,” Gatabaki said. “We were not expecting much given the current health crisis, but as you can see, people still found it in their hearts to be ultra generous.”

Resident Edna Dickinson, dressed in festive green to receive the gifts on Tuesday, joked that everyone at Abbeyfield House “must’ve been on the nice list this year.”

Anyone interested in learning more about Abbeyfield House St. Peters can visit abbeyfieldstpeters.org.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

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