ST. PAUL - The County of St. Paul and Elk Point FCSS elves obviously have Santa on speed dial these days, as they get ready to help out for the holidays.
While the FCSS department was unable to host the usual Seniors Christmas Festival for a second year due to the prevalence of COVID in the area, they have come up with a brand new way to share the season with seniors across the County of St. Paul and in the towns of Elk Point and St. Paul.
“And you don’t have to be low income, or in need to participate,” FCSS Director Janice Fodchuk emphasizes. “This is for all the seniors, just like the Christmas Festival was.”
After the reluctant decision was made to cancel this year’s event, “we were able to partner with Portage College to have turkey dinners, complete with dessert, made up and frozen, for the seniors to pick up along with gift bags with chocolates and helpful information to help everyone stay safe this winter,” Fodchuk said.
Also included in the gift bag are a blank Christmas card and a self-addressed stamped envelope, Fodchuk says. “We would like the seniors to write out one of their favourite recipes on the card and send it in to us.” She plans to post some of the recipes on social media, “and if we get lots, we might even make them into a cookbook for future years. I’m excited, and I hope people will respond.”
Seniors can register until Dec. 10 by calling the County of St. Paul office at 780-645-1950 or the Elk Point office at 780-724-3800. Pick up or delivery date for the meals and gift bags is Dec. 15
The County of St. Paul and Elk Point FCSS office in Elk Point is also now taking registrations for the Elk Point Community Lions Santa's Anonymous. To register, please call Terry at 780-724-3800 on Tuesdays or Wednesdays between 8:30 a.m. and noon or between 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Registration deadline is Dec. 15, and hampers may be picked up Dec. 18 at Elk Point Further Education from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Donations of non-perishable food, hats, mittens and new unwrapped toys are always welcomed by Santa's Anonymous, and Community Lions member Sandie Bishop says that the donation boxes are now out in businesses around Elk Point.
Another kind of help is also getting a boost from the County of St. Paul and Town of Elk Point FCSS, which has provided shovels for Elk Point’s Snow Angels, a group of Elk Point Outreach School students who are ready and willing to helps seniors and shut-ins deal with snow removal.
Call the Outreach School at 780-724-4951 for bookings.