For many years the congregation of St. George Anglican Church Pickering Village (Ajax) have prepared Christmas trays for LOFT Seniors. For Christmas 2011 they prepared 300 trays, in 2012 the number jumped to 400! The trays are wonderful, thoughtful gifts made up of all manner of items: toiletries, small clothing items, books, treats.
Items are collected throughout the year. People bring in hotel room toiletries collected when travelling and the whole congregation focuses on a “gift of the month”. For February 2013, the gift of the month was ladies gloves.
Then, one Sunday in November it’s all hands on deck after church as an assembly line of volunteers arrange all the items collected over the year into gifts for, literally, hundreds of vulnerable seniors.
In 2012, the big day was November 25, and Debra Walko, Director of Seniors Services at LOFT was invited to speak to the congregation about LOFT’s work with at-risk seniors and the tremendous impact a project like this can have. Debra talked about the joy the clients experience in receiving a gift and knowing that someone cares about them.
Debra’s daughters have been aware of their mothers’ work their whole lives and have attended many LOFT Seniors’ events, and they know the clients well. While Debra spoke to the congregation, 10-year-old Maeve spoke to the Sunday School class. To see the text of Maeve’s speech, click here.
The program had its beginning many years before at the old St. Gilles (Scarborough) Anglican Church, now part of Grace Church Scarborough, and was brought to St. George’s by the daughter of St. Giles parishoners.
St. George is always accepting items for this and other projects. To learn more, please contact the Church Office at 905-683-7981.