This holiday season, our community partners at The Amazing Brentwood teamed up with three fashionable, festive and generous influencers with a mission to spread joy amongst patients and staff at Burnaby Hospital. 

Santa’s helpers, also known as the JOY SQUAD, consist of, Lee Buonassisi (@legalleeblonde), Julie Vu (@missjulievu) and Alyssa Garrison (@randomactsofpastel). 

“The past couple of years have been extra tough. With the pandemic, and other emergencies, the ER has played a crucial role in keeping people safe and alive. Their efforts don’t go unnoticed, and everyone is so extremely grateful for everything they are doing. As the saying goes…not all heroes wear capes,” says Julie, who supported the Emergency Department. 

Lee, who treated the Neurology Department said, “When I was in law school back in Toronto, I volunteered in the Neuro Ward at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. I saw how tirelessly the nurses and staff there worked to not only do their job, but do so with a smile on their face and with incredible patience and kindness. I know that the Burnaby Hospital Neuro Nurses work so hard and do so much good for their community and the people in their care, so I wanted to brighten up their day with some treats as a token of my appreciation for all that they do.” 

And Alyssa, who supported the Maternity/NICU Department said, “The maternity ward at Burnaby Hospital holds a special place in my heart: not only is motherhood such a big part of my own personal story, but it’s the very same place my mom gave birth to me, over 30 years ago! These past couple of years haven’t been easy for new parents, birthing people, or health care workers, and what better way to brighten the hospital hallways this holiday season than with a sack of surprises?”

With the outstanding support of The JOY SQUAD, The Amazing Brentwood, Purdy’s Chocolate, Small Victory, Sephora, Sporting Life, H&M and H&M Home, hundreds of staff and patients were treated, allowing a spread of magic and joy across the hospital.