Tuesday, August 12, 2014

LOVE Week Part 2

One of the organizations that I fell in love with over LOVE Week was Emeritus at South Park.  This is a home for people with Alzheimer's and Memory Loss.  My beloved Dzaidzia has Alzheimer's and it kills me that I can't see him more.  It has been an emotional journey for all of my family watching him move from my aunt's house to his new assisted living home.  Since I'm not able to be there with him, I felt a connection to this home after I heard there were events there.  

  This is my Dziadzia :) 

I was able to lead two events here.  The first one was Baby Therapy.  We had about 12 kids ages 3 and under and were able to go and visit all of the residents.  There was one lady, Francis, who I was told never really engages with anyone let alone talks to anyone.  Well, when there are babies there, things were different.  She was asking them questions, playing with them and singing.  The staff there was amazed at how well she responded.  We got to all get together and sing with them, children and adults love to sing.  

Tuesday we got to paint pictures at Emeritus.  We had no idea how many artists we had in our volunteers and the people that live there!  We were able to have enough volunteers that everyone had a volunteer with them.  People painted together, shared stories, we celebrated a birthday, and just had fun.  

It was here that I met Micaela and her mom, Michelle.  They drove down all the way from Ohio to be a part of LOVE Week.  They discovered Elevation about two years ago and have been watching it on the Network for that long.  This spring Micaela and her dad came down to Charlotte to go to a race and visit our Blakeney campus.  While here, she met a VIP volunteer and they started talking about LOVE Week.  That volunteer offered to let her and her mom stay at her house for LOVE Week if they wanted to come down for it.  So, they came and served at multiple events every day.  

Our events here were simple, they didn't require a lot of planning or resources, however they impacted people profoundly.  They allowed these precious people to experience happiness and interact with others, it allowed parents to serve with their children and teach them the importance of serving others, and it allowed me to be there for someone else's grandfather who can't be there as much as they want to be.  

As you can see, he's still quite spunky. 

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