Partner Team Spreads Christmas Cheer

Posted by Wally and Martha Helton, Contributing Writers, on Dec 16, 2020

Partner Team Spreads Christmas Cheer

Last week, all 76 residents of The Park Nursing Home received gift bags from our Partner Team containing snuggly blankets, stuffed animals, and beautiful handmade Christmas cards. Some bags also contained a deck of cards, warm socks, soft scarves, and puzzle books. We also delivered three delicious sheet cakes to feed all of the home’s residents and the staff. But that’s not the full story.

The Bigger Story

After eight months with no positive cases, The Park Nursing Home has been hit hard by COVID. In the last three weeks, 16 residents were called home to Jesus. Each resident has become like family to the many volunteers of the Chase Oaks Partner Team, so it has been poignant to see their names and photos on the home’s “Angel Wall” of those who are no longer with us.

During the holidays, our Partner Team usually has funds to buy Christmas gifts for 20 residents. The director of The Park provides a list of needs or wants; some are as simple as a bottle of cola. This year, we were not able to get a list due to COVID. The residents are under strict safety protocols. They are not allowed to congregate in any way and must eat their meals alone in their rooms instead of with one another. An already lonely and isolated group has suffered even more isolation with this pandemic.

Spreading Warmth and Cheer

Wanting residents to know they are not forgotten, we decided to purchase 20 throw blankets to be distributed to those most in need. We started to collect donations from our team to cover the expense. And then God showed up. Money came in and we bought the 20 blankets, and then more money came in. We were able to buy 10 more blankets, and then 10 more. Individual families heard about the project and began dropping blankets off at our house.

The next thing we knew, a Group which volunteered with us on Saturdays (pre-COVID) committed to bring 10 more blankets…and then dropped off 24 blankets instead. Another group added stuffed animals, playing cards, socks, and scarves to the pile. And one of our neighbors, who makes incredible greeting cards by hand, lovingly provided and hand-signed cards for each resident. For the first time ever, we were able to deliver a gift bag to all 76 residents at the nursing home. God provided way more than we asked for, in a breath-taking way. We are grateful for all of the volunteers with our Partner Team who continue to serve this community with such dedication, and pour out love by the bucketful!

Looking Ahead

As we look ahead, we are eager for the day we can rejoin the residents within the home to resume Bingo nights and regular visits. Our team has 35 volunteers, ranging from very young children to teens to adults, but we hope that more people will consider becoming involved, to allow us to expand to other local nursing homes in partnership with other Chase Oaks campuses. We also dream of having resident "companions" for those who do not have any family or friends to visit them in the homes. These are big dreams, but we serve a big God!

Interested in helping to make a difference in the community? Check out this Partner Team, and other service opportunities, here.

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