WORTHINGTON - In September 2017, residents of South Shore and Crossroads care centers in Worthington teamed up in an effort to bring happiness and comfort to Rockport, Texas nursing home residents displaced by Hurricane Harvey.
A little more than a year later, South Shore and Crossroads residents have engaged in a similar project, this coming in the wake of Hurricane Michael.
Suzan Wellendorf, activities director at South Shore Care Center, explained Thursday that she wanted to reach out to a nursing home in North Carolina that was hit by Michael. Her supervisor, administrator Brad Molgard, advised her to contact the North Carolina Nursing Home Association, and she ended up sending an email its way.
“When the hurricane (Harvey) brought devastation to Texas and that area, we as a facility got together and our residents made cards and letters for the residents down there that were affected,” Wellendorf wrote. “This made a huge impact on the residents both there and here.
“We would like to pick a nursing home in your area that would like some correspondence from us. South Shore and Crossroads nursing homes are sister facilities, and both places make cards and letters.”
Wellendorf soon received a response and was referred to Jackie Ward, the administrator of Liberty Commons Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Whiteville, N.C. The two would eventually speak over the phone.
“I told her what we wanted to do and she said, ‘thank you so much your kindness,”’ Wellendorf said.
Ward also sent Wellendorf an email that described Hurricane Michael’s impact.
“We were fortunate that we didn’t evacuate. We did, however, have ... other facilities that had to evacuate, and some of their residents came to our building,” Ward wrote. “As with many storms, staff had to work extra shifts because others scheduled to work could not get to the facility due to the high waters blocking roads and washing out the roadways, trees down and power lines down. We weathered the storm well, and the residents were all in good spirits.”
Wellendorf and Ward are now expecting even better spirits as a result of the cards and letters, which were to be mailed out by the end of the week. Wellendorf also plans to pass along this newspaper report, she said; Ward will make sure South Shore and Crossroads residents get a photo of their correspondence being opened.
“We have construction going on at our facility due to the storm damage,” Ward also wrote. “Our residents have been exceptional dealing with all this disarray.
“(The cards and letters) will bring sunshine to them. Bless you and your precious residents for what you are doing.”
Wellendorf explained that she gave South Shore residents ideas Thursday while they worked on the cards and letters. She learned of an adage, “I love you from here to North Carolina,” that some folks utilized, but many also came up with their own messages. One example: “God only gives you what you can handle, and we know you can handle this.”
“I’m impressed with some of the sayings they’re coming up with,” Wellendorf said. “I kind of started them off with some things, but they’re coming up with own, and they’re so much better and from the heart.”