by Isabel Mosseler
December 21, 2020
Residents of Au Château have been getting special deliveries over the past few weeks, with hundreds of gifts dropped off to make their Christmas more cheerful after a tough year of being isolated from loved ones.
In late November, Au Château put out a call to the public asking for small unwrapped gifts to be donated between November 30 and December 18, “since many of our residents will not be having visitors or presents during this difficult COVID-19 time.” Gift suggestions included blankets, hats, mitts, candy, chocolate, stuffed animals, non-slip socks, different card games, adult colouring books, colouring pencils, puzzles, and men’s electric shavers. “Because of COVID people are really depressed; they don’t have this or that,” says organizer Liane Leblanc, Director of Resident Services.
The notice garnered such a response from the public that even she was taken aback. She says there are enough donations to provide about three gifts per resident. “The outpouring of the community was just overwhelming. (…) Some people brought in the whole store!” Leblanc exclaims. “We had someone who brought in a case of chocolate – 24 boxes in that case! So we’re going to give them out. People are so generous.”
All the gift giving is anonymous. Staff made a list of what different residents might need or want, and Leblanc notes that her “elves” are now looking at a few very busy days ahead preparing a decent Christmas for the elderly residents. “The girls are working on it right now as we speak. In the main hall they have all the gifts there. They will take a resident’s name and go shopping. All the gifts are on the table and they choose – ‘Okay this person, they would like chocolate; I think they need socks’. They ask the floor what size they are.”
Ann Lacroix, Emilie Giguere, Liane Leblanc, Christine Legault and Sophie Kmyta, members of the actiivity staff at Au Chateau, show off the donationed gifts they’ve received.
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