Now in its third year, shut-in seniors in Norquay, Hyas and Pelly will benefit from the Sleigh Bells for Senior’s project, and the number of seniors who will benefit is larger this year.
Kaeley Kish is the founding organizer of the project, along with her mother Barb Koroluk.
With help from Laura and Larry Dahl, family members and volunteers, Sleigh Bells is now in its third year.
“We put up the tree at our salon, Onyx Nail & Hair in Norquay, at the end of November and have all the seniors’ names hanging off of the tree on a Christmas ornament,” said Kish. “When someone sponsors a senior, they may take the ornament as a keepsake to put on their own tree.”
Once all the seniors are sponsored, gifts are brought to Onyx. Volunteers will gather at the Norquay Legion on December 18 to wrap and tag each gift.
This year, there is more of an element of surprise to the gift-giving, as sponsors chose the gift, after getting to know their “senior.”
“The Health Centre was the exception, and we did ask for a ‘wish list’ from the seniors there,” said Kish.
The deliveries will take place on December 21, and the committee plans to distribute the gifts all in one day. In the past, volunteers from the Kamsack RCMP had joined the group to make the deliveries.
“We will begin around 9:30 a.m.,” said Kish, adding that there are 134 seniors on the list that will be receiving gifts.
The volunteers gather, and along with Lloyd Smith of Pelly, his granddaughter Morgan Wallington, and his team of horses pulling the wagon, the gifts will be distributed as such: Norquay, 55; Norquay Health Centre, 31; Hyas, 10, and 38 seniors in Pelly will receive a gift from Santa.
Mich Koroluk, Kish’s father, will be in the role of Santa again this year, as he has in the previous two.
Last year’s numbers were a total of 120: Norquay, 49; Norquay Health Centre, 31; Hyas, 12, and Pelly, 28.
Smith will once again transport the horses and wagon to all three communities.
“We now have a special ornament on the tree for every one of our seniors who have passed away,” Kish said.
“We are grateful to Lloyd and Morgan who have committed to helping with Sleigh Bells until they ‘just can’t do it anymore.’ We are so blessed to have the support of the community and have volunteers who help to make this happen, and are very proud to see the project expand.”
“People in the community have really warmed up to Sleigh Bells, and with their help, I am able to make it happen. I could not do all this on my own,” she conclud