Heather Moore

The spirit of the season is clearly ramping up in eastern PEI, particularly in the Be A Santa To A Senior campaign (Home Instead Senior Care).

Last Thursday 115 cardboard tags were hung on a Christmas tree inside the Cavendish Farms Wellness Centre in Montague. Each contains the name of a senior and their gift wish this Christmas.

Within two days 74 of those tags had already been removed by anonymous gift givers and two of the requests had been filled, returned and placed under the tree.

The program is doubly exhilarating for several reasons.

First the giver’s name remains anonymous and the recipient is only identified by their first name. Who doesn’t love secrets at Christmas?

Second while the mass community spends the holidays celebrating with friends and family seniors may be lonely or financially challenged - possibly feeling isolated amidst the hubbub around them.

There are countless other credible campaigns on the go this time of year and each involves volunteers who give of their time and energy to make Christmas possible for families across the region. There is no middle man/woman to appropriate profits or revel in the glory of success.

The same principle applies to the senior’s gift program. Each undertaking is about sharing, caring and generosity.

Seniors especially are the people who have in their time contributed to their respective communities in one way or another. Now many, although they may still be independent, don’t have families and otherwise wouldn’t receive a gift at all.

Their requests are modest and easily attainable so it’s no great burden to find the item, place it in a gift bag along with the tag from the tree.

Imagine spending Christmas alone, not by choice but by circumstances. It’s real and it’s sad. Playing secret Santa to a senior seems a rather humble gesture.

Shout-out for Christmas stories

It’s that time of year again when The Graphic does a shout-out for Christmas stories.

The rules are simple: the story can be fact or fiction, please include your name, address and phone number (only your name and where you live will be published) and include a photo relevant to the story or one of yourself if either is available.

The deadline for entries is Wednesday, December 11.

All ages are welcome to enter and we will do our best to publish each one.

The Graphic welcomes back long-time and well-respected Hugh MacDonald of Brudenell to judge the entries. The former poet laureate, editor and award-winning Canadian poet and children’s author has volunteered his time to peruse each and every entry for a number or years now.

The top story in the adult category will receive $100 and the top children’s entry will be awarded $50.

Send your stories to editor@peicanada.com or mail to PO Box 72, Montague, PE C0A1R0 or fax 902-838-4392.

If you have any questions please call us at 902-838-2515.

Heather Moore is editor of The Eastern Graphic. She can be reached at editor@peicanada.com

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