'Wishmas tree' bringing holiday cheer to Yukon long-term care residents

A Whitehorse woman is trying to lift seniors’ spirits this holiday season by asking people to donate gifts for a “wishmas tree” for long-term care residents.

All 4 Whitehorse long-term care homes participating in the gifting tree

Gift requests from long-term care residents hang on this "wishmas tree" at the Marble Slab Creamery in Whitehorse. (Submitted by Paula Dupuis)

A Whitehorse woman is trying to lift seniors' spirits this holiday season by asking people to donate gifts for a "wishmas tree" for long-term care residents.

"I just thought it was great that seniors finally get a little bit of attention as well," said Paula Dupuis, owner of Marble Slab Creamery in Whitehorse. 

Seniors have put their wishes on cards that hang on the tree. People can take a wish off the tree, then come back with the requested gift.

Dupuis says gifts don't have to be wrapped. She can take care of that.

There are 250 wishes currently on the tree, Dupuis said, "everything from hats …  to Whitehorse monopoly."

Seniors at Birch Lodge are requesting things like photo frames, a sketchbook, cards with large numbers, soft fuzzy blankets, and men's lounge pants, Dupuis said.

The Thomson Centre is requesting winter gear for all its seniors, she said. Whistle Bend Place is requesting entertainment items such as books on CD and nature videos.

Some of the gifts requested on the wish tree for seniors in long-term care. (Marble Slab Creamery/Facebook)

All four Whitehorse long-term homes are participating in the wish tree this year.

Dupuis started the wish tree last year with two seniors' homes. She says she hopes to expand to communities outside the capital next year.

"I thought that could be something that could cheer them up," she said.

It's been a challenging year for long-term care residents; visitors were not allowed inside care homes for several months due to COVID-19.

The "wishmas tree" went up last Sunday at Marble Slab Creamery and will be up through December.

With files from Elyn Jones and Yukon Morning