City staff and students help spread holiday cheer to seniors

Last updated: December 14, 2022

Burnaby, BC – Hundreds of Burnaby seniors will receive an extra boost of holiday cheer this season, as the City’s Citizen Support Services partners once again with the IAK (Intentional Acts of Kindness) Foundation and the Burnaby School District on the Operation Elf program.

Throughout the year, staff from Citizen Support Services deliver grocery orders to Burnaby seniors. This holiday season, as part of Operation Elf, the deliveries include hand-crafted holiday greetings, drawings and poems created by Burnaby students from kindergarten to Grade 12. Some of the 2,000 creations are also delivered to care centres throughout Burnaby.

Operation Elf builds on the success of the Sunshine Notes program, which started in 2020 to spread cheer to seniors who were isolating due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The City has continued the program as it is a wonderful way to build community spirit during the holidays. 

“We’re so fortunate to live in a community where young students are willing to put in the time and effort to bring holiday cheer to Burnaby’s seniors,” said Mayor Mike Hurley. “These students, along with Citizen Support Staff, deserve so much credit for the success of this wonderful program.”

Over 1,700 Burnaby elementary and secondary students from 16 different schools contributed to Operation Elf.

“Each envelope contains heartfelt wishes, brings joy and exemplifies the kind of caring school community that so many intentionally work to create,” said Burnaby Board of Education Chair Bill Brassington. “This kind of partnership project connects generations, and brightens the holidays for seniors and students, alike – as the children and youth experience that warm feeling when you spread love and kindness.”

In addition to Operation Elf, this year saw the return of Gadabout’s Christmas Luncheon, the first big event for seniors by Burnaby’s Citizen’s Support Services since 2019. Over 100 seniors enjoyed a performance by Deer Lake School’s children’s choir, as well as a free luncheon thanks to our sponsors, who also provided small complimentary gift baskets to attendees. Gadabouts Christmas Luncheon was sponsored by Parkland Burnaby Refinery, CUPE Local 23, Keith & Betty Beedie Foundation, Burnaby Firefighter’s Charitable Society and Mulberry PARC Residence. 

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Media Contact:

Chris Bryan
Manager, Public Affairs
Public Affairs Office
604-570-3616 | [email protected]

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