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Co-op gifting uplifts seniors

By November 4, 2022No Comments
The Lloydminster and District kicked off its Spread a Little Love program for Christmas gifting to seniors on Tuesday. Pictured at the Co-op Marketplace launch with tree ornaments noting gifts from left: Kimberly Steier, Faye Wood and Becky Schille, who are all from The Olive Tree, and Co-op CEO, Peter Brown. Geoff Lee Meridian Source


At least two of Santa’s elves work at The Olive Tree in Lloydminster. 

One of them is outreach worker, Faye Wood, who is excited to deliver Christmas gifts to area seniors with the launch of this year’s Spread a Little Love program on Tuesday.

Nearly 900 local seniors will receive a Christmas gift this year through Lloydminster and District Co-op’s annual charity program, which started eight years ago.

“The program is amazing,” said Wood at the Co-op Marketplace kickoff event.

“I get to go out and talk to all our seniors in the community and ask them what we can buy them, and I get the blessing of also coming to deliver those gifts back to them.”

Wood says the seniors love it.

“It makes them feel so special, so honoured, so loved and part of the community,” she said.

Becky Schille, the executive director of The Olive Tree that partners with the Co-op and local health authorities to help run the program, spoke about the role of the charity as another Santa helper.

“I think everyone wants to make a difference in the community. Sometimes we are not sure how to reach out or how to make a difference,” said Schille. 

“So thankfully, the Lloydminster and District Co-op has put together this great program where people can quite simply come down and get an ornament and make a difference to someone in the community.”

Seniors’ names and wishes are written on ornaments then placed on Christmas trees at Lloydminster and District Co-op’s grocery stores and gas bars for anyone to pick.

Among the wishes on the Co-op Marketplace tree, Gordon wants a calendar and taxi vouchers, Lillian is hoping for puzzle books and a sun-catcher and Dale has his fingers crossed for cookies.

After the gift is purchased, the customer can bring the gift back to a participating Lloyd Co-op location. 

With the addition of five new senior’s housing complexes in 2021 – Padua Place, Hallsholme, Southridge Manor, Fellowship Village, and Knox Manor – Spread a Little Love this Christmas provides gifts to seniors residing in 19 unique locations across six communities.

Schille says for area seniors who receive gifts, it means someone is thinking about them.

“They went out of their way to buy you something that you wanted or needed. It’s just a reminder that you’re loved,” she said, adding the delivery part is the most fun.

“It’s kind of like being Santa Claus. You get to see their reactions. They’re so genuine and true; that’s the best part.”