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Easter 2020 will be a memorable one thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. It forced churches worldwide to put on virtual Easter Sunday services, and people had to connect with friends and family through telephone and social media rather than in person. Thanks to some creative thinking, however, there is one tradition that was able to carry on at The Waters of Wexford in Warrendale, Pennsylvania: a visit by The Easter Bunny.
Bright and early on Sunday morning April 12, the Easter Bunny hopped out of The Waters bus at the front entrance of the senior living community, then delivered baskets filled with goodies to all of the residents. Like the rest of The Waters’ staff, the bunny had on his personal protective equipment: a mask.
The basket delivery was followed by a special Easter dinner of honey baked ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans, a salad, roll and fruit pie.
A story about the visit aired on WPXI-TV, the NBC affiliate in Pittsburgh. The community newspaper, The Cranberry Eagle, is planning a story in this week's paper.
Learn more about The Waters at www.thewaters.com.
There is a tradition at The Waters of Excelsior to throw a celebration of sorts for every resident’s birthday. On the first Thursday of each month, residents celebrating a birthday are honored during a social hour held in the community’s café. Birthday cake, appetizers and punch are served, and everyone who lives and works in the community is invited to attend.
However, with everyone sheltering in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Waters team was looking to find another creative solution for celebrating residents with April birthdays. Thankfully, they heard about The Excelsior Fire and Police Birthday Patrol and contacted them to ask if they’d be willing to expand their special birthday recognition program for kids to include seniors.
On April 20, rescue vehicles from the Excelsior Fire District, South Lake Minnetonka Police and Deephaven Police Department pulled up to the community located at 723 Water Street in Excelsior with lights flashing. Residents stepped out on their balconies, or opened their windows, and observed rescue workers, accompanied by the Fire department’s mascot, Sparky, dancing in the parking lot to music played over a loud speaker. Each resident who has an April birthday had their name announced. Seven residents turning between 74 and 87-years-old were honored.
“We are very excited that the Excelsior Fire and Police Birthday Patrol answered our request to expand their special program for kids to seniors as well. Our residents are going to love the attention, not to mention the recognition of reaching another milestone in their lives,” said Beth Kuhlman, Executive Director of The Waters of Excelsior.
To learn more about The Waters senior living, known for creating communities where residents thrive, go to www.TheWaters.com.
Homeless advocate Richard Bahr of Maple Grove, Minn., wants to shine a light on how important it is to help the homeless in this time of national crisis.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, he organized a small group of people he usually works with on packing sandwiches for the homeless to meet in the driveway of his home in Maple Grove, Minn., the evening of April 6 to help him pack 100 personal care kits which were distributed to the Twin City homeless community. The care kits included shampoo, conditioner, a washcloth, soap, tissue, deodorant, a toothbrush and toothpaste, a razor, socks, and a comb.
During the packing event, his group showed off how following social distancing and other recent safety guidelines, a few people or small groups of people can assemble, in a safe way, and still continue to care for our neighbors. Four media outlets covered the event: KARE TV, FOX 9 TV, CCX Media and the Press & News.
Looking for ways you too can help the homeless. Here are Bahr's suggestions:
* Give financially to local shelters or other organizations that support our local homeless community
* Call and ask if you can volunteer. Most don’t allow on site volunteers any longer, but several will take meal and food donations if you drop them off.
* Contact you legislator and urge for the support of legislation that will provide a COVID-19 relief package for the homeless and those in need of rental relief. You could urge them to open up more, large public spaces, such as sporting arenas, to reduce the density of those seeking shelter.
It’s not “if” but “when” COVID-19 strikes our homeless community, the impact could be devastating. And because the homeless, by the nature of their situation, are on the move a lot, we could unknowingly spread the virus among others, delaying a recovery for the general population.
Learn more about Richard's work to help the homeless at www.threshold2newlife.org.
A book inspired by the pressing question of a young Minnesota girl, who wanted to know why children who look like her aren't represented in children's literature, has just hit the market. In What Color is My Hijab? by Hudda Ibrahim of St. Cloud, women of all different professions, including doctors and teachers, artists and politicians are featured wearing their very colorful hijabs, and a variety of clothing. Ibrahim says the variety is intentional as it illustrates that like all Americans, Muslim women come from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, and abilities.
Ibrahim is intending for What Color is My Hijab to be the first in a series of children’s books that educate readers about the Muslim culture. Pick up your copy today directly from the distributor: Itascabooks.com.
Learn more about Hudda Ibrahim's work at Huddaibrahim.com.