By Leah Williams
A local church has collected nearly 100 hundred greeting cards, coloring pages and other handmade items to deliver to nursing homes in hopes of bringing a smile to their residents’ faces.
Lighthouse Community Church dropped off its first delivery last week for its “Adopt-A-Grandparent” initiative, a project where interested persons can create artwork for other people who may be in need of some positive interaction.
Maria Arnold, children’s ministry leader at Lighthouse, said the idea came as a way for the children in the church program to reach out to members in the community who are not able to have visitors because of the coronavirus pandemic concerns.
“It’s like a pen-pal program,” Arnold said. “We were given lists from Friendship Manor and the Washington County Hospital Extensive Care Unit, and once a week, we are dropping off letters just to let them know that they are not alone.”
Arnold said nurses at both facilities met the deliveries at the door, and they seemed appreciative of what the church community was wanting to do for their residents.
Pastor Danny Donato said the service was a way for the church to lead by example during a trying time.
“One of our core beliefs is that church is not just a place to be but for us to be the church,” Donato said. “The whole idea behind it was this is an opportunity for us to love on our people and be there for the elders in our community.”
The contributions ranged from coloring pages, letters of encouragement and water-colored artworks. Arnold said that there are currently 40 residents at the two facilities that are in need of someone to write them during the health crisis.
“If we get more submissions than there are residents, then we will just double up,” she said. “We encourage everyone who wants to participate to feel welcome to do so. This has gone farther than we have ever thought to see, and we are excited to see the community and the children step up and share God’s love with people.”
Anyone interested in participating can call Lighthouse Community Church directly at (618) 327-4006 or leave a message on the Facebook page.