Senior issues challenge to benefit Christmas Daddies

Carla Allen
Published on December 7, 2012

Meadows assistant supervisor Rosie Bridgeo holds one of the many boxes full of yard sale items that Charlie Cann has collected and is reselling to raise money for the Christmas Daddies.

Charlie Cann is on a mission, one that he’s challenging residents in other senior homes to join. So far he’s raised $700 for the Christmas Daddies by a most unusual method.

Since March, this 77-year-old has been zipping around on his scooter to yard sales in Yarmouth on Saturdays. He purchases items that he judges to have good resale value and carts them back to his room at The Meadows Home for Special Care.

“I come back with all kinds of bags… they call me the bag man,” he said.

When  a local store sold out this fall he went and stocked up there too.

Through yard sales held at The Meadows and those held on Cliff Street by his son Gordon and his girlfriend, he raises the money for charity.

In addition to the six boxes full of items he has in his room at The Meadows to sell next year, he has 25 stored with a friend in Arcadia. There are toys, jewelry, ornaments, glassware, games and boxes and boxes more.

His reasoning is simple.

“I thought - I should have done something like this when I was younger. I was all for myself. Now I have a good place to live, I’m well taken care of in here because I can’t take care of myself.

 “I want to help the little children that are unfortunate and the families that have low incomes,” he said.

Cann was raised in Dayton, at the top of Session Hill. The son of Margaret and Lyndon Cann, he had three brothers and four sisters.

“We never had much but dad worked all the time and we had plenty to eat,” he said.

As an adult, he worked as a dairy labourer at Superior Ice Cream and in the vegetable department at Superior Market.

He was married to Dorothy Hartling from the Eastern Shore for 44 years and they had two sons.

Cann has received recognition from the Christmas Daddies and looks forward to raising more money for them.

“That’s why I do it,” he said, gesturing to the back of his Christmas Daddies card.

“Since 1964, funds raised have been putting smiles on the faces of less fortunate children at Christmas time,” it said.

“I challenge all the other nursing homes in Yarmouth County to start raising money for Christmas Daddies,” he concluded.