Residents at the Amica Somerset House pack up gift baskets for low-income seniors as a part of the Helping Hands initiative. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Victoria seniors pack Christmas baskets for peers in need

Residents of Amica Houses pack more than 300 gift baskets for seniors living in poverty

The games room at the Amica Somerset house was transformed into a well-oiled workshop Dec. 12. Volunteers wearing Santa hats dotted their way down a factory line as the air rang with the crinkle of cellophane wrap and swish of scissors curling ribbons.

As part of a seasonal tradition, the residents were wrapping up gift baskets for low-income seniors as a part of the Helping Hands initiative.

The baskets contain tea towels, dish cloths, soaps, shampoos, cookies and chocolates, a $25 gift card to Thrifty Foods, socks, hats, gloves and sparkling juice.

ALSO READ: Helping Hands delivers for city seniors in Greater Victoria

“You need a little bit of practical, and a little bit of fun,” said event coordinator Lin Thompson as she adjusted her elf hat. “The residents are so lucky to live here, and it’s an easy way for them to give back to the community.”

For some of the residents, the baskets have become a tradition of their own.

“We’ve been doing this for many years now; there are a lot of people who don’t have all these goodies at Christmas,” said Margaret Rippin.

ALSO READ: Lending vulnerable seniors a helping hand in Greater Victoria

Residents felt that the kinds of items struck a good balance for those in need.

“These are probably things they woulnd’t buy for themselves because they’re short on money,” said Jean Davies.”So here we can give them things like candy, but also some useful items as well.”

Somerset was just one of four Amica houses in Victoria creating the baskets, and between them all over 300 baskets will be distributed to local seniors ahead of Christmas. The contents were paid for in part by residents hosting garage sales, raffles and bake sales throughout the year, as well as from donors across the country. Each basket is valued at $150.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

ChristmasSeniorsseniors housing

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New report finds ‘chronic’ shortage of daycare spaces across Greater Victoria

Sidney meets 52 per cent of demand, the best figure for six surveyed communities

Four-storey Oak Bay Avenue development to have rooftop garden

Redfern 35-unit development sent to public hearing

Greater Victoria thrift shop quietly closes two locations indefinitely

Society of St. Vincent de Paul shut down Sooke and Central Saanich storefronts

Heavy rains cause wastewater overflow off Oak Bay, Saanich beaches

Affected beaches will be posted with public health advisory signs

‘It’s a boy’: Southern Resident killer whale calf born to J Pod is healthy, researchers say

J35 had previously done a ‘Tour of Grief,’ carrying her dead calf for 17 days

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

‘Won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving:’ Trudeau says COVID-19 2nd wave underway

In all, COVID-19 has killed about 9,250 people in Canada

Grand jury indicts police officer in Breonna Taylor death

Officer Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Sept. 22

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Most Read