Geraldine Taron, Chief Elf of the NCS Christmas ‘Elf’ program thanked residents of Nanoose Bay for their generous support leading up to Christmas.
“Calling all donors, tag takers, sponsors, tree hosts and or merry squad of Elves. Please take a well-deserved bow. Warm and fuzzy was a mutual feeling as our less fortunate neighbours picked up their packages just before Christmas”, Geraldine wrote in a message to donors.
Altogether, 54 adults and 42 children in 51 households received gifts this past Christmas. The total amount raised during the Christmas campaign was $53,137.
Geraldine shared that early on the team had concerns the Elf program might have faced severe challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“But, we forged on with protocols in place and fortunately, the support and generosity of the Nanoose community was more than we had expected”, she said.
She noted that tags flew off the trees and those who sponsored individuals, many of them seniors, or families, “bravely kept calm and shopped on.” She added that the recipients were amazed and humbled by the kindness and thoughtfulness put into each and every gift.
The day the gifts were distributed, her team saw tears of joy, looks of astonishment and shy smiles. A single mother told her, “my children will be bouncing. I wish I could give you all a hug”. Several people vowed that when they get back on their feet, they would pay it forward in any way they could.
Among several notes from recipients expressing appreciation for making their Christmas special were the following excerpts from two Nanoose moms:
“I hope your Christmas was as magical and awesome as ours was! To every heart that makes the Elf Program real, thank you. You will never know the positive impact your kindness and generosity continue to make for me and my boys”.
“It really was Santa/God/the Universe that wanted my children to have so many amazing angels making this Christmas the best one ever”.
Local business Springford Farm also contributed to the Christmas joy. Diane Springford and her grandson, Parker, made Christmas gnomes and swags to sell at their store, donating the proceeds to NCS. In total, they raised $535 on behalf of NCS. Many other local businesses also stepped up to host ‘Elf’ trees carrying gift tags to allow for donations of gifts and gift certificates.