The Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce is doing its part in helping spread Christmas cheer to Williams Lake seniors.
Until Dec. 18 you can receive a free coffee at the Tourism Discovery Centre by donating puzzles, gift cards, mitts, scarves, festive snacks and more to brighten local seniors’ holidays.
“We’ve been looking at all the agencies and all the wonderful support that Williams Lake does for families and youth that are in need over the holidays, and then what we found was there was this gap when it came to the seniors,” said chamber executive director Alex Gresl.
Before the donation box was set up earlier this week, Gresl said he had reached out to Glenda Winger, who manages the Seniors Activity Centre.
Winger said she hopes there will be enough donations to support at least 75 seniors at retirement homes and low-income housing units.
Within one day, the donation box was already full, and Gresl said almost everyone did not accept the free coffee but “just wanted to help.”
“That to me speaks volumes of the community of Williams Lake,” he said.
Trees were lit up earlier this month on the centre’s balcony as part of the chamber’s ‘Spark into Christmas’ campaign to encourage local shopping while adding some cheer amid the pandemic.
Gresl said next year’s campaign in which trees will be lit on Dec. 1 would signify their annual start of accepting donations for seniors.
Once the donation drive closes Dec. 18, Winger will sort and package the items before delivering them to seniors.
“Next year I would love to strike a committee of people to find out a way to do ‘Secret Santas’ for seniors in the Cariboo,” Winger said.
“My thought scenario of this whole thing is the seniors are who built and made Williams Lake what it is, and we have some wonderful, wonderful seniors here and I just want to make their Christmas special,” she said getting emotional.