Five locals wanted to bring happiness to nursing home residents during this holiday season. They created a group on Facebook called "Nursing Home Hellos from the Heart," where people sent in cards from all over the country.
This local group sent cards to twenty-one nursing homes in Oneida and Herkimer Counties this year. The organizer of "Hellos from the Heart," Theresa Girouard said. "I'm happy, it's a wonderful project. It was a lot of work. You know we started in July, it's now November. It's our last one. Maybe someone else will take over and keep it going."
Around 2,800 local nursing home residents received cards from people all over the country trying to bring a smile to these seniors. Mrs. Girouard said "We've gotten so many responses from the nursing homes as to how it made the residents feel. Like, this is for me? Wow! I mean some never get any mail, any responses, and it made such a difference."
Especially since nursing homes are not allowed to have any visitors due to the rise in coronavirus cases. The LutheranCare Nursing Home Administrator, Mrs. Donna Kelley, said "Keeping our residents safe, while maintaining some kind of positive outlook for them. It's been very hard, with the holidays coming. So this is a wonderful opportunity."
Even the smallest gifts can make the biggest difference for these isolated residents. Although many nursing home residents can't see their family during Thanksgiving, hopefully these cards will bring them some cheer during the holiday.