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St. Joseph’s Foundation kicks off Be Their Secret Santa program

The organization has set a goal to deliver gifts to approximately 450 clients this holiday season.
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St. Joseph's Foundation chair Katrina O'Neill and Santa Claus on Wednesday, Nov. 15 help lauch the third annual Be Their Secret Santa campaign at St. Joseph's Heritage in Thunder Bay. (Leith Dunick, tbnewsatch.com)

THUNDER BAY – Organizers of St. Joseph’s Foundation’s annual Be Their Secret Santa campaign are hopeful the public can help make Christmas a little brighter for some of their clients.

The goal is to deliver gifts to about 450 clients who find the holiday day season particularly lonely, especially with COVID-19 restrictions still in place and more people spending the holidays alone.

“Each year we see the need grow for the Be Their Secret Santa program and we will continue to rise to the challenge to meet that need. The gifts include a brand new pair of pajamas or a blanket, a pair of socks or mitts and a special festive treat.

“The joy that our clients feel when a volunteer delivers the gift and spends some time visiting is priceless,” said St. Joseph’s Foundation executive director Gail Brescia.

The organization, for the second straight year, is putting an emphasis on monetary donations to reduce potential exposure of clients and staff to COVID-19.

Foundation staff will then purchase items directly from local stores, which will be quarantined and sanitized before being handed out to clients.

“While Christmas is traditionally seen as a joyous time, for many clients in care, the holiday season is a lonely time. If it weren’t for the Be Their Secret Santa program many clients at St. Joseph’s Care Group would not receive a Christmas gift or visit this year,” said Tom Beck, chair of the foundation’s board of directors.

“Some of our clients do not have family that can afford to give them a gift, and many do not have family involved at all. This is the season of giving and supporting the Be Their Secret Santa program is a wonderful way to feel the spirit of Christmas. We hope anyone who can, will make a donation to the program.”

Donations can be made at the board office inside St. Joseph’s Heritage, at 63 Carrie St., online at www.ejftb.net/santa or by phoning 807-768-4440.



Leith Dunick

About the Author: Leith Dunick

A proud Nova Scotian who has called Thunder Bay home since 2002, Leith is Dougall Media's director of news, but still likes to tell your stories too. Wants his Expos back and to see Neil Young at least one more time. Twitter: @LeithDunick
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