Jay Lough Hayes is another example of all the amazing people giving back to the community. Here is Jay's story as told to PTBOCanada of how Santas For Peterborough Seniors came to be...
"A few years ago, a friend of mine came into my office downtown and told me she was looking for help getting gifts for local seniors. I put up a little tree, advertised it, and low and behold, people came in with gifts for the seniors. I then delivered these gifts over to the company that was looking after it and all went well.
The next year, that same company was not looking after the collection of gifts. I felt it was such a necessary project that I picked up the ball and ran with it. This is now my 3rd year of doing Santa's for Peterborough Seniors. This project has been a great success, a WIN WIN for everyone. My elves and I have distributed Christmas trees and wreaths around the city. You can stop by a tree at the Peterborough Police Station, Master Opticians on High St., Kawartha Credit Union in Lansdowne Place Mall, or The Works on Water St. at Hunter.
Once I have the names of all the seniors on name tags, we hang the name tags on the trees. Generous people will go in, choose a name tag, buy a gift and return the wrapped present to the tree. (On the back of each name tags are gift suggestions with a size if clothes are needed. Everyone loves Christmas cookies and candy, toiletries, socks and slippers are appreciated and lap blankets are always a big hit.)
My elves and I pick up the gifts, sort them into the different areas where the gifts are going to, and on December 20th Brinks Peterborough sends over their sleigh (Brinks truck) and with the help of more elves, we deliver all the gifts to the seniors. If the gift is going to a personal residence, we will deliver it. If the gift is going to a retirement home, the staff donate their time to see the gift and recipient come together Christmas morning.
It is our seniors who have made the city you live in what we all enjoy today! Far too often, it is our seniors who are forgotten—not just at Christmas but all year long. Most of the gifts go to retirement or nursing homes. We are told by the staff these gifts are totally unexpected and so very much appreciated. We see the joy from the seniors we deliver straight to their homes though. Some are shy about opening their doors but we simply tell them that Santa has left this gift for them and we leave. It’s an incredible feeling."
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