The annual Seniors Christmas Wish List campaign is fully underway to bring Christmas joy to elderly people in the Cochrane area and Stoney Nakoda First Nation.

The nonprofit organization Communities of Alberta Networking for Seniors Assoc. (CAN) is once again spearheading the drive to bring Christmas joy to seniors in lodges as well as some who live independently.

"We're really excited," says Cheryl DeMaere Ellis, southern Alberta area manager for CAN, whose mother resides at Bethany Cochrane. "As always, Cochrane residents are always so giving."

They are seeking wrapped gifts for 198 women, 90 men, 28 unisex, three independently-living seniors, and 50 in Stoney Nakoda.

They also require 78 blankets for seniors who reside in a long-term care facility. These shouldn't be wrapped. 

She says they can't accept sharp objects, home-basked good (due to allergies), scented items, or candles, but otherwise the door is wide open for gifts provided.

Gift cards for food and other essentials or cash donations are also welcomed to help prepare some special Christmas hampers, many of them for veterans.

"We have a lot of veterans that we're helping, which breaks my heart because they gave their lives for us and they shouldn't need or want anything at Christmas except their families, and they're in need. Some of the monetary gifts that we're seeking for these hampers is specifically for veterans."

Once again, Cochrane Toyota is the drop-off location and a Dec. 10 deadline has been established. DeMaere Ellis says they will be delivered on Dec. 15.

Now in its third year, she says she continues to be in awe of Cochrane's community spirit.

"Cochrane is just an amazing community that really wants to look after one another, and it's beautiful to know and to see this happen."

Should people want to reach out for further information, you can messenger here through Facebook here.

Last year, the volunteer nonprofit program made the Christmas of over 450 seniors in the Cochrane area a little bit brighter, thanks to the generosity of Cochrane area residents.