A first-stage transition home in Vancouver became Santa's workshop this winter as women formerly addicted to drugs or alcohol created 2,000 Christmas cards.

The crafty event is an annual occurrence at Sancta Maria House. Sharon Dobin of Agape Street Ministry, which partners with Sancta Maria House, says the act of service and chance to be creative is good for the women, as are Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, Mass participation, counselling, and other opportunities. The women also create quilts and bars of soap throughout the year.

"Women who have never had any spirituality start to find healing and faith," at Sancta Maria House, Dobin said. "We are a family here."

The 2,000 Christmas cards were delivered to dentist Brian Yu, who annually requests them and gives them away to colleagues and patients. Dobin said Yu also serves the women at Sancta Maria House, to "restore and refashion smiles that have been damaged over the years."