Working Together: Valentines Cards for The Moorings

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In late November, we encouraged readers to send holiday cards to residents of The Moorings of Arlington Heights, a retirement community in Illinois who supported our ride last summer with well wishes and dozens of acts of kindness pledged as we pedaled and sweated our way across the Northeast on the way to New York City. The results were amazing. The residents received over 400 cards from all around the world.

As the holidays fade behind us and the days start to get longer again, let’s not forget our friends in Illinois. Let’s send a note, a postcard, or a Valentine’s Day card to remind the residents that we’re still thinking of them. For those of you on Facebook, the event page is here. Please share this event widely with your friends.

Cards can be sent to:
Geri Wozniak
c/o The Moorings of Arlington Hts
761 Old Barn Lane
Arlington Hts IL 60005
USA

Photo: Valentines by elod beregszaszi used under creative commons license

Holiday Card Drive: Thanks for Participating!

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While it’s not over yet (details are here if you’d still like to participate), I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for participating in our Holiday Card Drive. The response was fantastic and beyond what I’d ever expected. Participants posted their experiences on the Facebook page for the event. Here is a sampling of what they said:

“What a great idea…not only will I send a card and suggest to family and friends to send a card, but I am also going to do this very thing with a local nursing home where my mother lived for 9 years…I plan on gathering peoples cards and delivering the to our nursing home…Genius and so loving especially at this time of the year when they need that extra love.
What a wonderful community project…”

“We wrote 5 cards at my Christmas get together the other night. Will be sending them this week. :-)”

“Just addressed our card! Love knowing it will bring people some joy.”

“I just wrote The Moorings folks a 4-page letter and it was so much fun! “

As cards came in, Geri, the Activities Coordinator at The Moorings started giving us updates:

“Cards are begining to arrive. Shout of thanks to Jane J., Lee Ann, The Pascheke Family, Christine P. The Gates Family and The Michaels Family. The residents are feeling so very loved by letters from around the U.S. Your photos, singing cards and homemade cards are amazing. Good wishes and love is felt by all!”

“We recieved mail from a castle today! I googled the castle with a photo and learned the history. We traveled to Nova Scotia also! We read a poem about remember mother’s. There was not a dry eye in the house. Traditions that continue thru the next generation is so important to my residents. Kindness, love and caring are the “things” that mean the most. We recieved many cards looking for a grandparent pen pal. You got it! There are many sad people grieving the loss of loved ones. I see it and feel it in the words you express. We love you back and truly appreciate the kindness you have shown. I believe we are building a lasting relationship. You are Loved.”

“Our boards and cabinets are filling up! Cards from all over the world! Even a children’s hospital staff took the precious time to send a card. We all agreed that it difficult to loose a resident who becomes our family even after a long fullfilling life. How difficult it must be to care for children in the hospital. What a caring, loving, supportive staff. We cried and were deeply touched to receive such a thoughtful card. Special shouts out to all the classrooms and teachers who have supplied cards for all the departments! Canada, Ohio, Minnesota, New Zealand, a castle too! Warm notes and letters with enclosed photos! We plan on writing back after the holidays so watch your mail. Lastly only a small portion of my residents are represented in the photo. You are blessing so many people. We cried and prayed over the latest events in the news. It is never too late to change the world through one act of kindness.”

“Our cabinets are full along with the bulletin board. Cards are also distributed in the residents room. Each resident was able to receive three personalized cards for their rooms yesterday! It has become the highlight of their day! They LOVE the notes and stories! Today I will read to them a four page letter! We have recieved dvd’s and cd’s! Hand drawn cards from children around the world! Wonderful photos of pets and families. I will be posting later today the photos of the cards. The resident family members are viewing the cards along with the staff. Many lives are being touched through your acts of kindness. It takes only one act of kindness to change the world. May it be yours that finally does it!”

“If cards were not enough we are now receiving holiday song videos! They are the most beautifully heartfelt songs ever! I am so looking forward to showing my residents tomorrow. Thank you so much.”

“Posting a small portion of the cards we recieved so far! Thank you so much for changing the lives of our residents. Some of my residents may not have made it to see another Christmas but they lived long enough to be touched by your kindness. It means so much!”

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Thanks, everyone, for your participation. It made a lot of folks’ holiday seasons special. Heck, I don’t even usually celebrate the holidays and it made mine really special.

500 Kindnesses Holiday / Christmas Card Drive

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While we were on our the 500 Kindnesses journey last summer, on the hottest of days our spirits were buoyed by frequent well wishes and acts of Kindness pledged by the folks at The Moorings of Arlington Heights – a retirement community in Illinois. In the end we received over 50 pledges from them alone. You can see all of the pledges here.

I’ve talked before about how just a simple act of kindness – a smile shared, a kind word can make a huge difference. I can speak from personal experience when it comes to the residents of The Moorings. I remember clearly one day outside of Ottawa when the weather was *so* hot, the bugs so bad, and my hands were still numb from bad handlebar position. We pulled over for a break in the shade and I looked at my phone to find a message from the Activities Coordinator at The Moorings, Geri, cheering us on, reminding us to stay hydrated and sharing a huge list of acts of kindness that the residents had performed. It was always wonderful to hear from them and made me feel so good that even at the hardest times, even pushing the bike down a gravel path at 11PM, we would remember their kind words and push onward.

Now I’d like your help in returning the favour. The holidays are coming rapidly upon us. If you could join us in sending a holiday or Christmas card to the residents with *your* well wishes I would really appreciate it and I know the residents would as well. They take turns opening the cards, read them aloud, and hang them on the wall. If there are family photos or other personal touches I know that they’d especially appreciate it.

Your contributions on Share Something Day were nothing short of amazing. I’d love it if you could help me fill their mailbox to overflowing so I could begin to repay them for the happiness they brought us this past summer. For those of you who on Facebook, please join and share the Facebook event.

Cards can be sent to:

Geri Wozniak
c/o The Moorings of Arlington Hts
761 Old Barn Lane
Arlington Hts Il 60005
USA

19 More Pledges

A few weeks ago a reader from Illinois who is an Activity Specialist at a retirement home wrote to tell me that the residents where she works have taken up our cause. They are now performing random acts of kindness and charting them over time. They’ve written again, with 19 more pledges.

Calib and Nenita helped us walk.

Kindergarten kids came to visit

We encouraged the kindergarten kids.

Wife of former roommate is still bringing me the paper.

Charlie came by to visit with the residents

My daughter came to visit

I saw people helping each other sit.

People were helping other people in the hallway

Susan played music for us.

If I am struggling to get somewhere the staff will ask if I want a push.

Angel takes good care of us.

The staff offers us help

Julie performs many acts of kindness too numerous to mention

Residents say please and thank you

Someone served Mr. Albright his food.

The staff cuts our food for us

Adrian takes good care of me everyday

Chhaya helps me get dressed in the morning and combs my hair

Susan took pictures of us and visited while she was in town

photo Elizabeth Phung

31 More Pledges!

In the end, only kindness matters

A few weeks ago a reader from Illinois who is an Activity Specialist at a retirement home wrote to tell me that the residents where she works have taken up our cause. They are now performing random acts of kindness and charting them over time. Yesterday morning I got an email from her again, this time with a list of all the acts of kindness that have been performed there so far. This morning, I got permission to share them with you and was told that the list continues to grow. Sage has already posted a couple here so the 31 pledges sent bring our grand total up to 369. Not only that, there are a few more in the queue that we have yet to post. It`s amazing to see how quickly the list is growing.

Here`s what we received from our friends in Illinois so far:

  1. Helped table mate with straw.
  2. C.N.A. brought me a paper
  3. Prayed for Buthene
  4. Smiled to make someone’s day brighter
  5. Prayed for a friend
  6. Helped Evelyn play bingo
  7. Prayed for Pastor Crocker’s family
  8. Gave a compliment
  9. Natalie handed out clothing protectors at lunch
  10. I receive random acts of kindnesses from residents who complete prayer request cards and leave them in the little wooden prayer request box in the front entry near the piano.
  11. Residents with loving hearts set prayer requests for others in the box.
  12. I let two ladies go ahead of me for breakfast
  13. Helped friend drink their chocolate milk
  14. Helping someone get to the table
  15. Geri rubbed our necks
  16. Someone pushed me to the dining room
  17. Evelyn’s daughter Karen played the piano
  18. We helped put up the room decorations.
  19. Complimented decorations
  20. I was helped down the hall
  21. Roommate’s wife brings me the sports section
  22. Said the rosary for Rev. Crocker
  23. Jack made us music tapes
  24. Brought brown sugar to friend
  25. Received more music tapes.
  26. Erin stopped to talk to a new resident
  27. A C.N.A. brought me my shoes
  28. My daughter brought me two new purple shirts
  29. My daughter Susan came to visit me for three weeks
  30. Sang Happy Birthday to Marian
  31. Milton was kind to Angel

photo: Jennifer