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December 23, 2008

Secret Santa Brings Joy to Misericordia Health Centre Residents

Secret Santa Brings Joy to Misericordia Health Centre Residents

For the 8th consecutive year, (l to r) Tracy Marrow, Sharyl Thomas, Joan MacPhail of the Family Law Branch bring presents to Jane Van Dam, Manager of Social Work, Misericordia Health Centre (MHC) to give to MHC residents.


The holidays are a little brighter for Misericordia Place and Interim Care residents at Misericordia Health Centre (MHC) thanks to a visit from the Secret Santa.

For the past eight years, staff from the Family Law Branch of the Department of Justice become 'Secret Santas' for some residents. Gifts are presented to residents, suggested by MHC staff, who either have family who do not live in the city or for whatever reason, do not have family who visit them over the holidays.

While their work routinely revolves around children and their families, for the Family Law Branch staff being able to give back and bring joy to seniors in the community is part of the draw of this longstanding tradition. Staff from the Branch embrace the opportunity to share the spirit of the season and brighten the lives of these seniors, says Sharyl Thomas, Crown Counsel at the Family Law Branch, who coordinates the presents each year.

"MHC staff are so appreciative and lovely to work with. They are also very much a part of why we still do this," adds Thomas.

"We feel fortunate to be a part of this process and that they choose seniors and the elderly at Christmas, and that our seniors and elderly are included in these activities. One person just helping another person out is so special," says Jane Van Dam, Manager of Social Work, Misericordia Health Centre.

Residents receive personal items such as sweaters, blankets, chocolates, plants, book and magazines and other items to brighten up their rooms. And the giving is a surprise for the residents! They do not know they are receiving gifts until Christmas Day when their Secret Santa gifts are presented to them.

- Tammy Melesko

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