Last year’s Giving Tree being decorated by Friends of Bethany volunteers at Shoppers Drug Mart. (left to right) Patricia Granik, Connie Cartwright, Janet Lawrence, Janet Swinden and Sheila Klein. This year’s tree will go up at 10 a.m. on Nov. 21. File Photo.

Giving Tree back in Sylvan Lake for its eighth year

The Friends of Bethany will be putting the tree up on Nov. 21

The Giving Tree will return to Sylvan Lake for it’s eighth year on Nov. 21.

The Friends of Bethany volunteers will be putting the tree up at the Shoppers Drug Mart on 50A Street at 10 a.m.

The tree features a variety of anonymous tags which display the Christmas wish list of one of the seniors living in Bethany’s long-term care of assisted living facility.

“I think that most people like to support the Giving Tree to bring joy to a senior,” explained Sandra Simpson, coordinator of volunteer services for Bethany Sylvan Lake.

After the tree is up Sylvan Lake residents will be able to go, choose a tag off the tree and buy a gift for a senior.

“We ask that [the gifts are] unwrapped, but in a Christmas gift bag,” said Simpson, who explained this is so they can check the gifts ahead of time and make sure they are not giving anything to a senior that may be inappropriate.

The due date to drop off gifts is Dec. 14.

All gifts are to be dropped off at Bethany Sylvan Lake at 4700 47 Avenue.

Usually the wish lists on the tags ask for Christmas ornaments, slippers, non-slip socks and chocolates, but they have seen an array of different items over the years.

Although Simpson advises they can’t have homemade treats, just special store bought Christmas treats.

Last year they were out of tags in three days, but if you miss out on being able to buy a gift for a senior Simpson says you can also give the gift of time.

LEARN MORE: The Giving Tree is back

“We’re always looking for volunteers that want to help us with Christmas card making,” explained Simpson, who added you can also help out with some of their special Christmas events.

“We have other people in the community who have donated Christmas ornaments and different decorations, so there’s lots of different ways that they can give to our seniors if they don’t get a tag,” continued Simpson.

“We’re always so happy to do this program and so excited to see the response from the community and we’re just so overwhelmed by the generosity,” said Simpson. “It’s just been incredible.”

For more information contact Sandra Simpson at Bethany Sylvan Lake at 403-887-7741 ext. 236.

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