The District of Muskoka is bringing back the annual Christmas shopping spree for residents of The Pines Long-Term Care Home in Bracebridge.
Lisa Friesen, Activity Aid at The Pine Long-Term Care Home which is run by the District of Muskoka, says the program was called off the past two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it’s being brought back this year by popular demand. Friesen says some of the residents have been asking about when it would be brought back.
She explains the idea was thought up seven years ago. “We have quite a few residents here that are not able to get out to shop for their loved ones, whether physically or financially,” explains Friesen.
This year, the community is being asked to donate new or gently used items like decorative household items, jewelry, winter wear, toiletry items, games, books, gifts for men (like ties), and Christmas gift bags and wrapping paper.
Friesen asks all the gifts be donated by Dec. 12. They can be dropped off at 98 Pine St. in Bracebridge.
After that, staff at The Pines will set up one of the rooms in the building to look like a store. Residents will be allowed to pick through and choose what items they think their family members would like. “It’s a safe place for them,” she says, adding the items are free for residents.
Once the gifts are picked, Friesen says volunteers will be ready to wrap them and help the residents write cards. She says, if able, community members are needed to help with that. Friesen says to reach out to The Pines if you’re available to help.
“I remember the first day when we opened up there were residents lined up ready to shop for loved ones,” says Friesen.
“Thank you to the community for always responding so positively to this initiative,” says Friesen. “We have such a great community.”