Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Caring Hearts Drive 2015...Special Delivery!!!

Through wind, torrential downpours, flooding and Christmas holiday bumper-to-bumper traffic, I was on a mission to deliver some very precious items today...Nothing would stop me from getting this cargo to its final destination...I felt like Santa, like a postal worker on a mission...and it felt GOOD...SOOOO GOOD!

Today, I had the privilege of delivering 253 beautiful handmade Christmas and Holiday cards to two nearby (well, about an hour away) senior homes.  It was an honor to hand deliver so many beautiful cards to the senior residents at Paul Spring Retirement Community and Sunrise @ Mt. Vernon.
Paul Spring Received 147 beautiful handmade cards made by crafters from around the globe. Tonight they were having their Christmas Party and all of the cards would be placed on a table for each resident to view and pick their favorite.  The front desk staff and members of the Paul Spring team looked through the box filled to the brim with cards and continuously said "Ohhh this is beautiful, I know exactly who this card is meant for!".  They were so touched by the gesture and knew their residents would so enjoy these beautiful treasures.  

Due to confidentiality, I wasn't able to take photos of the residents or of most of this facility, but I was allowed to take some photos of the most beautiful open spaces.  These spaces were beautifully decorated for the Christmas holidays and the residents were active, welcoming and a pleasure to visit with.  The front desk staff gave me the name of their activities director and I will be in contact with her to see if I can volunteer (teaching and doing crafts) at their facility. 
This is the welcoming site when you enter the facility.  A collection of beautiful nutcrackers (I collect them!!!) and fresh poinsettia plants welcomed me into their facility.  A resident was sitting beside the door ready to tell me all the ins-and-outs of the special entry system.  Hee hee...
This was one of several beautiful trees located in the reception area of the facility.  I was happy to see some stuffed animals laying underneath the tree...Just waiting to come to life!  
Wowee, fancy-schmancy!  The most elegant common room is right here!  It reminds me so much of George Washington's Mt. Vernon (just down the road) and the formality of his home.  Very much colonial, very much pure "fancy".  

After delivering the cards to Paul Spring, I shlopped through the flooded parking lot with my umbrella in tow and headed to my next stop...Sunrise Senior Living of Mt. Vernon.  This time, I was delivering 106 beautiful handmade cards to the residents here.  This facility was just as beautiful and welcoming, maybe even more so because I was able to visit and be ushered around the facility by the Activities Director who continued to call me "Their Christmas Angel". 
This is the doorway into this beautiful facility.  I just love how the light shines in the glass. 
As you enter the facility it is quite a grand entryway.  The lower portion is where the residents gather to socialize, have meals and relax.  There is also a garden terrace just beyond this area.  Beautiful!

As I visited with the Activities Director, I expressed interest in volunteering at her facility too.  We chatted about me being an Elementary school teacher at a nearby school and she was so interested in seeing if our kiddos could come to the facility for intergenerational projects.  It would be such an amazing thing for my students to visit.  She was very excited about my offer and we'll be in contact with each other to schedule some classes.  She also introduced me to one of her "very crafty" residents and she talked with her about the Caring Hearts Drive and all the beautiful cards they were about to receive.

The upper floor (and wood semi-spiral staircase) is decorated with fresh poinsettias on each step as you travel up the staircase.  As you can see, the landing on the second floor has a beautiful Christmas tree too.  Just behind that tree upstairs, you'll find the Activities/Crafts/Baking room.  The Activities room also has a full kitchen where the residents can bake cookies (I'm a cookier too!) and make baked goods to share with other residents.
Turn around, and this is what you'll see.  Beautiful trees decorate this floor.
Instead of Nutcrackers, a Giant Santa stood guard.  He must have been watching all the good people in this facility!
This a view of the common area.  It seems, the sitting areas MUST have a fireplace to be a perfect spot to sit and chat!
Now this place was ROCKIN'!  There was a Jukebox in the area near the dining room and it was playing some 50-60's music.  Just the most perfect music to bring back those old memories...
This is one of several Gingerbread houses the residents made from scratch.  Doesn't it look like a fun project?  I wonder how much candy ended up in their stomachs!
I just loved this decoration sitting on a table near their mission statement.  Such a pretty wintery scene...I'm not sure if it was handmade or purchased, but I also mentioned that I could make some villiages like that too!  :)  It would be a fun project for Valentine's Day.  Can you imagine making a fun little Cupid village?  I've got the supplies!!!

So do you want to see all the beautiful cards that were delivered?  Are you ready to be blown away? We were!  Perhaps you can spy some cards you made and contributed to the Caring Hearts Card Drive of 2015!!!
On behalf of the residents and staff of Paul Spring and Sunrise at Mt. Vernon, and myself, I thank the hundreds of cardmakers around the world who donated their beautiful masterwork to strangers...Thank you for helping bring a smile, lift their spirits, trigger beautiful memories and encourage communication.  Thank you for sharing the spirit of giving this holiday season.

My heart is full...I have been blessed to be able to participate in this wonderful drive.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to each and every one of you!

Thank you to Vera Yates, and Jennifer McGuire and Tina Schrof for organizing this amazing drive! Thanks also to Tiffany Johnson who connected me to Vera so I could help spread some love and cheer!

1 comment:

  1. Kerry, I just love reading your post! Love getting a peek into ine of the nursing home that received our cards. I started this card drive 6 yeras ago and never thought it's goung to get as big as it is now. Thank you to people like you who helped us distributing all the cards.

    On side note, I think taking your students here would be a cool experience for both the student and the resident. Have a blessed Christmas!