The Cedaredge Library played cupid last week for residents of the Horizons Care Center. Librarian Emily Wray and participants in her teen program created and delivered 80 valentine cards to "share the love" with those living at Horizons.
Wray did not have to look far for inspiration for the program. Her grandmother lost her Missouri home in a tornado a few years back. She since suffered a fall as well, which ultimately forced her to move into the rehab wing of a retirement facility. Wray is not able to physically be with her family and help her grandmother through these hard times, so this was something she could do locally that could make a difference and make her feel connected.
"I am not able to be in Missouri to support my grandma; however, I can do something on this end by sharing some love with the residents of a local retirement center." This inspiration is what led her to recruit her teen patrons to make a special trip.
This was not only a great opportunity for the library to make an impact in the lives of those living at Horizons, but also those who participated. "This program really took the teens out of their comfort zone," added Wray. The teens received a warm reception when they arrived. The residents were touched by the generosity and kindness exhibited by the youth. One resident thanked Melissa, one of the participants, emphatically. She had no family in the area and she does not have many visitors. She thought it was great that she shared the love.
"Many of the people living in these centers don't get many visitors for one reason or another," said district director Annette Choszczyk. "It is important that they know that they have people thinking about them."
The residents shared stories with the teens that they will never forget. Some residents spoke of family that had passed away long ago, and this served as a reminder of their love. Others swelled with emotion in the moment, and some jokingly warned their new valentines not to cheat. "I was heartwarmed to see my teens go up with smiles and valentines, acknowledging the residents as if they were their own grandparents. I smiled so much, I had tears in my eyes," Wray said.
This will not be the last time the teens visit the residents as they have been invited back to read to the group and share the love one more time.blog comments powered by Disqus