Brookswood Seniors Activity Centre and Bria Communiities representatives safely delivered gifts to local seniors on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. (Bria Communities/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Brookswood Seniors Activity Centre and Bria Communiities representatives safely delivered gifts to local seniors on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. (Bria Communities/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Langley seniors groups team up to host Christmas parade of gifts

A seniors food program and seniors complex firm deliver goodies to many

This year dressing up for Christmas means adding PPE.

So when members of the Brookswood Senior Citizens Activity Centre and Bria Communities held a parade Thursday, Dec. 10, their red and green and gold and silver includes safety gear.

In a typical year, these Brookswood seniors would gather monthly for meals and socializing opportunities culminating in a festive Christmas luncheon in December with “hot lunch, sing-along, entertainment from one or another of our centre’s groups, an original skit put on by the executive of the centre, and some sort of gift exchange. This year, of course, we couldn’t host a luncheon,” said Lydia Francescutti, with the seniors centre.

This year, the centre’s Food and Friends committee and executive team for the Activity Centre came up with a creative plan to connect with their friends and share the holiday spirit despite COVID-19 restrictions — a parade delivered directly to the seniors.

“We’ve been saddened because of all the things we cannot do so wondered if there was anything we could do to put a little cheerfulness back into the holidays,” she said. “We needed something where people would be safely distant yet still enjoy themselves in the spirit of the season.”

The seniors centre and Bria, which operates retirement residences in the community, teamed up to deliver an unusual Christmas celebration to the seniors who enjoy the Food and Friends luncheon program at the centre.

They prepared 39 bags of cookies as well as face masks, calendars, mittens. Bria Communities provided swag bags full of additional goodies for seniors to enjoy.

• HOLIDAY FUN: Langley family creates satirical video to celebrate Christmas

A number of the Food and Friends seniors dropped by in their cars and received their gifts passed safely through the window.

At 11 a.m., a parade of decorated cars left the activity centre to visit 20 houses throughout Langley, and deliver the bags and Christmas cheer safely and in a fun way.

“It is awesome to see seniors thinking of innovative ways to care for each other through these challenging times,” said Sherri Martin, residency coordinator for Bria Communities in Langley, who participated in the giveaway and parade. “Social isolation is a big issue for seniors right now, and loneliness can be especially hard at Christmas time. This project was such a great way to combat it.”

Francescutti noted that the volunteers at the centre (executive and a few others) collaborate really well.

“Everyone pitched in – telephoning, decorating, taking photos, baking, collecting gift items, sewing, writing Christmas greetings, assembling the gift bags – truly a group effort,” she said.

With holiday music playing, lots of social distancing, and Santa Claus driving the Bria Communities courtesy shuttle instead of his sleigh, the parade went from home to home. They delivered greetings of ‘we miss you’ and ‘we love you!’ along with the festive care packages.

“Seeing the smiles on some of our seniors who are most affected by the pandemic restrictions was immensely gratifying. They clearly appreciated the contact,” Francescutti said.

.


Know of a great example of holiday spirit in our community?

Email: heather.colpitts@langleyadvancetimes.com
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

ChristmasCoronavirusSeniors

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

 

Gifts were distributed to some local seniors on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. Irene Jamieson (in car) received gifts from Esther Gallanger. (Bria Communities/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Gifts were distributed to some local seniors on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. Irene Jamieson (in car) received gifts from Esther Gallanger. (Bria Communities/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Brookswood seniors received holiday gifts during a special parade on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020 (Bria Communities/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Just Posted

A horse and driver cruise around the track at Fraser Downs in Cloverdale Sept. 14, 2020 amid smoke from U.S. forest fires. Harness Racing B.C. announced it’s halting the spring season two weeks early because of a lack of money and says racing won’t continue in September without and influx of cash. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Harness racing suspended at Fraser Downs

Spring season ends early, 135 workers out of jobs

An agreement between the City and the Langley Lions Housing Society would set out income and age requirements for the new Birch replacement building (Langley City image)
Langley Lions housing project gets go-ahead from City council

An eight-storey structure will replace the fire-gutted original Birch building

B.C.’s Court of Appeal in Vancouver. (Black Press Media files)
‘Stereotypes’ not an issue in Langley sex assault ruling, Court of Appeal says

The Court of Appeal upheld a conviction in two attacks on a 17-year-old

The Langley School District issues COVID-19 notifications when cases are discovered at local public school. Fraser Health handles contact tracing and all medical aspects for all local schools. (Langley Schools)
Two Langley schools added to COVID list

Fraser Health posts the names of public and private schools online when there’s been exposure

Florence Song (left), Amy Saya, and Chanhee Park participated in sustainability week at TWU by selling clothes to benefit charities. (TWU’s Winnie Lui/Special to Langley Advance Times)
TWU students turning used clothes and goods into cash

During sustainability week the university fundraises to benefit young entrepreneurs and charities

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Photo by Metro Creative Connection
New campgrounds coming to B.C. parks as part of $82M provincial boost

This season alone, 185 campsites are being added to provincial parks, says Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Paper Excellence took over Catalyst Paper operations in B.C. in 2018. (Paper Excellence photo)
Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Archibald bowl near Chilliwack. (Submitted)
Cheam First Nation ‘shocked’ over all-season mountain resort proposal near Chilliwack

For five years the band has been working on a gondola project of their own

The plane blasted through an airport fence and down a hill, before stopping before a cement barrier on Highway 5A, right in front of a school bus. Photo submitted.
Student pilot crashes plane onto Highway 5A almost hitting school bus

Aircraft hit pavement right in front of school bus

A driver stopped by Saanich police following a road rage incident on April 15 was found to be impaired, in violation of a license restriction and in a damaged vehicle. They received a 90-day driving prohibition and a 30-day vehicle impound. (Saanich Police Traffic Safety Unit/Twitter)
Road rager fails breathalyzer on busy B.C. highway in vehicle he shouldn’t be driving

Saanich police say man was operating vehicle without required ignition lock

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier John Horgan booked to get AstraZeneca shot Friday

‘Let’s show all British Columbians that the best vaccine is the one that’s available to you now,’ he said

Most Read