The staff and friends of St. Mary’s Villa gave back in a big way. This year’s second annual 12 Days of Giving brought in plenty of non-perishable food items for the Humboldt and District Food Bank. The residents of Humboldt’s multi-level care home, along with their families, got in on the spirit by donating products. 

Jessica Sanden is the clinical manager at St. Mary’s Villa. She talks about how it all got started.

“We had some ideas last year. We do gifts for a residence, That we just wanted to get back as a staff  And we decided to pick the food bank. With prices of food going up, we thought it would be a good place to give back.” 

The collection was spurred by a raffle prize for the staff, and the plan generated enough food to warrant two trips to the Food Bank. Last year’s collection was provided by staff only. By including residents and their families this year, the Villa managed to increase its volume delivered. Sanden thinks next year’s drive could be even better.

Jessica says that the staff of the Villa are delighted with the give-back philosophy in light of the community support they get. 

“Whenever we threw out what we need for the residents, there are always people so quick to pick up. We just threw it out on our Facebook page for St Mary's Villa That we needed some Christmas trees. There was money given to buy a Christmas tree. We put it out there that we need certain things for the residents and they came. There were tons of donations right away. People are very generous with their donations.”

It’s also a karmic payback for the generosity of agencies like the Good Neighbour Store, who handed over a cheque for $100,000 toward the building fund. Sanden says the intent is to see the current St. Mary’s Villa building with a new one. While there has been no announcement about proceeding with a new facility, the St. Mary’s Villa Foundation and the staff have long been fundraising to see that their financial commitments can be met. 

Sanden reflects on her admiration for her staff who have met the challenges of the pandemic and its restriction with such resolve and compassion.

“I’m really honoured to be part of this team. No matter what happens, we always get through it together.”