As seniors face increased isolation this holiday season, London Drugs is encouraging the Cowichan Valley community to come together for its annual Stocking Stuffers for Seniors donation drive.

The 2019 drive was a big success, and organizers aren’t letting the ongoing pandemic stop them from bringing it back for another year.

Over 20,000 seniors across Western Canada received a special gift thanks to the drive last year alone. Since the campaign started, close to 45,000 packages have been delivered.

London Drugs’ shoppers can choose a tag from the tree that shows the wishlist of a local senior (Photo: Ethan Morneau)

From now until December 16th, visitors to London Drugs can choose a tag from the Stocking Stuffers tree that shows the wishlist of a local senior. The gifts are then safely delivered to seniors around town before Christmas.

“2020 has been a challenging and difficult year for many of us, but it’s especially affected our elderly Canadian population,” says president and chief operating officer Clint Mahlman.

“We all know the effects of isolation and loneliness on our seniors have been significant during the pandemic, and the goal of the Stocking Stuffers for Seniors program is to show our seniors we care, we are thinking of them, and we are here for them—even if we can’t be there for them in person this year.”

Each London Drugs location will have a guide posted next to the Stocking Stuffers tree, outlining information on how the participating care homes will be safely handing out the gifts to their seniors. In many cases, donated gifts will be isolated for 72 hours.

As many annual programs have been cancelled or postponed, community relations supervisor Jimmy Morrison says staff are relying heavily on Canadians to support their seniors.

When seniors are lonely or isolated, Morrison adds that it can take a toll on their mental or physical health. When they receive a gift at Christmas, it reminds them that someone out there cares about them.

Popular gifts for seniors include:

  • Books or magazines
  • Blankets and throws
  • Kitchen essentials
  • Candy or chocolate
  • Board games or puzzles
  • Slippers or warm socks
  • Toilet paper, paper towels, or tissues
  • Warm clothing like gloves and scarves
  • Travel mugs
  • Gift cards for groceries and toiletries