It’s that time of year again, when people begin to think about the holidays. But over the past few years there has been a growing change to people thinking about how to give to others rather than gifts they themselves want this year. Our friends at London Drugs continue the tradition of Stocking Stuffers for Seniors, delivering gifts—and joy—to tens of thousands of seniors across Western Canada last holiday season. We chatted with store manager Dave Woogman, who has been involved in the campaign for years. —Vita Daily
When and why did LD's tradition of Stocking Stuffers for Seniors begin?
The Stocking Stuffers for Seniors campaign began in 2015, with one store location providing help for 500 inner-city seniors. The campaign quickly caught on, growing in 2016 to multiple store locations helping more than 2,000 seniors in their communities. In 2017, Stocking Stuffers for Seniors went chain wide across all stores, in all locations —and with incredible support from all our communities, London Drugs delivered donated gifts to more than 10,000 seniors! In 2019, London Drugs is excited to once again offer the Stocking Stuffers for Seniors campaign chain wide, for the third year in a row.
Why and how is the issue of senior isolation is a growing epidemic in Canada?
Senior isolation is a growing problem as negative health impacts can affect a senior. Some of the main areas of concern with seniors are physical and mental health. It also leads to seniors feeling less connected to the community around them.
What are some of the effects of isolation and loneliness on the health of seniors?
A decrease in mental acuity, decrease to a senior’s mental health and limited physical activity are all effects of isolation and loneliness in seniors. The simple gesture of giving a gift and interacting with seniors helps to increase their health and reduces feelings of loneliness.
Who does LD partner with on its Stocking Stuffers for Seniors holiday donation drive?
Stocking Stuffers for Seniors partners with local care homes, charities and organizations to bring more holiday cheer to seniors in their communities. In 2019, we’re excited to offer this annual Christmas community campaign chain wide at every London Drugs location, for the third year in a row! But this program wouldn’t be the success it is without the support of our customers and our communities. Customers are very passionate about this program. They take a considerable amount of time trying to pick a tag that they feel a connection to. Perhaps a reminder of a family member or somebody that has impacted their life in a positive way. We are also seeing many offices that are doing away with their Secret Santa events and taking up SS4S as an alternative. It is clear that our customers have warm hearts and in this case are much happier to give than to receive. If you think about it, it is one of the most unselfish things someone can do. Give a gift anonymously to someone you don’t know, with no chance that person can give you a gift in return. We are also seeing many customers to add a card and their own personal wishes letting people know they are important and cared about. Imagine writing a card for someone you don’t know but the words that are written come from the heart. Our staff are equally energized by this program as much as our customers are.
What is the goal of this year's drive?
Our goal this Christmas: From Monday, November 18th to Monday, December 16th, 2019, help Stocking Stuffers for Seniors bring extra holiday cheer to 17,000 seniors across our communities!
How can the public support the drive?
Visit your local London Drugs store, and head over to the store Christmas Tree for a Stocking Stuffers for Seniors gift tag. Each tag contains a personalized wish list from a local senior, or a general “wish list” from a participating local care home or organization partner. Simply purchase or bring new, non-gift wrapped items, along with the gift tag, to the store’s Customer Service Counter by the delivery date. For even more Christmas cheer, you’re welcome to include a personalized Christmas Card with your gift. Our London Drugs stores will ensure your gifts are delivered by Santa and his elves to local seniors, before Christmas Day! Spread the Christmas cheer, stay updated, and see how your gifts are making the Christmas season a bit brighter for seniors in your community! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter; tag us at #StockingStuffersForSeniors #LondonDrugs.
What are some popular gifts for seniors that can be donated?
Books or magazines, blankets and throws, kitchen essentials, candy or chocolate, board games or puzzles, slippers or warm socks, paper towels, tissues and other paper products, warm clothes like gloves and scarves, travel mugs, gift cards for groceries and toiletries.