There are a few reasons why a Maple Ridge Mountie has spent her every free moment this month making greeting cards for seniors.
Const. Britteny George has made about 815 Christmas cards.
She made them because she’s crafty.
“I used to be artistic in high school,” she said.
But Const. Julie Klaussner, the spokesperson for the Ridge Meadows RCMP detachment, corrected her right away. She’s still “very artistic.” She painted a train to decorate a door at the office, and “it was amazing,” said Klaussner.
George made the greetings because COVID-19 meant police officers with the detachment would not be able to go carolling at seniors homes in the city this Christmas. Each holiday season, a group of 10 or 20 officers, more or less depending on the day, will take part. Some get dressed up in their celebrated red serge, and they bring some Christmas cheer to old folks homes in town. Klaussner said the officers enjoy it.
“It’s one of my favourite things to do during this season,” said George. “You get to spend time with these amazing people, and they are so glad to see us.
“It’s fantastic having them sing along with us – my voice is horrible.”
It’s ironic that the population most impacted by COVID-19, who would perhaps benefit the most from having carollers come to sing with them, can’t be visited this year. They can’t compromise their safety.
She first had the idea of sending seniors cards because she was involved with a different outreach project for seniors, and felt like it could have gone a little further… been a little more personal.
So George went to Michaels and bought 800 card stocks, printed off photos for each, and went over a list of names she had received from six homes in Maple Ridge, and another in Pitt Meadows. To each name, she writes a message. She thinks about making the person who reads the card smile. They are from the police of Ridge Meadows.
She admits, it has taken a lot of time.
“Every minute that I’m at home, I’m making cards,” she said. “Hubby is in charge of dinner.”
She has been writing cards since the start of December, and now she’s almost done.
“No one gets forgotten at Christmas time. I want them to still see Christmas as a time of magic and hope and love.”
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She has created the cards because she has a big heart. Klaussner said George’s fellow officers are impressed by her Christmas spirit.
“Everyone is really touched. It’s such a thoughtful gesture, on behalf of everyone else,” said Klaussner. “I have a grandma, and I would love for someone to be thinking of her this way.”
“I am so proud of Constable George,” said Supt. Jennifer Hyland. “This is not the first example of her going above and beyond for the community. It is not uncommon for our local constables to do these types of the things for the community, and I am very pleased that Constable George is being recognized by so many for this amazing act of kindness.”