WISTA Bermuda Shoebox Gifts To Age Concern

December 3, 2019

Members of WISTA Bermuda recently held a shoebox gift wrap social where 45 gift-filled shoeboxes brimming with essential items for those in need were curated, packed and decorated for the holidays.

A spokesperson said, “Angelique Burgess, President of WISTA Bermuda, suggested we focus our efforts on our vulnerable senior population. The idea: simple gifts—packed with love to deliver hope and joy to our seniors.

“The WISTA Bermuda mission was three fold: to foster togetherness among members, to ensure the organisation was a part of a fulfilling social giving event and to reach seniors in the community who have the greatest need. For some seniors, this may be the only gift they will receive.”

Vera Lopes, Donnelle Swan, Angelique Burgess, Dr Claudette Fleming [Age Concern], Tammy Richardson-Augustus and Marilyn Feldman [photo courtesy of WISTA Bermuda]:

WISTA Bermuda December 2019

“The shoebox project provided our WISTA Bermuda members with a creative and rewarding way to give back directly. WISTA Bermuda worked with Age Concern to establish a list of gift suggestions. Our WISTA Bermuda members then took great care in shopping for personalised items and treats, ensuring that all recipients would receive a gift in similar in size and value.

“Even more important than the items inside the shoebox, the exercise was an opportunity to show kindness. It is often the small gestures of kindness that have the most immediate and positive impact on the recipient. WISTA Bermuda is hopeful that this unexpected gift will spark delight in the life of a senior.”

Tammy L Richardson-Augustus, JP press officer for WISTA Bermuda, said, “Special occasions can be particularly challenging. We hope that the shoebox gift initiative stands as a simple but tangible reminder that our ageing population is not forgotten and remain a valued and respected part of our community.”

The spokesperson said, “Age Concern will distribute the shoebox gifts to seniors throughout our community. Age Concern understand the context in this area and have previously worked with the Bermuda Police Service and parish constables to ensure that persons on their hardship list [or otherwise identified as being in need] are adequately provided for during the holiday season.”

Dr Claudette Fleming said, “With stressed budgets and financial challenges, a number of older adults in our community can’t make ends meet. They are having to make critical choices as to where and how to spend their money, it a wonderful gesture therefore to give these seniors thoughtful holiday relief. With initiatives like the WISTA shoebox giving, we hope to help even more people have a wonderful holiday.”

The spokesperson said, “Operation Shoebox Gifts was an inaugural WISTA Bermuda social, but forms part of the annual strategy by WISTA Bermuda members to make a positive impact in the community. For low-income families, the holiday season can be an especially difficult time.

“WISTA Bermuda encourage other persons and organisations to think of their own initiatives to help spread joy to a deserving person. It’s #GivingTuesday.”

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