Love and Laughter Bloom
It starts with a phone call from Helen, a member of The Military Council of Catholic Women (MCCW) at Ft. Belvoir. “The ladies want to come for a visit on Valentine’s Day,” she says, “to bring gifts for your infirmary unit Residents and to host a little party.” She continues, “We will make and bring homemade snacks and treats too.” Before we hang up, she reveals that the MCCW will also collect and deliver items from our wish list, a camera for our Activities Department, as well as fun prizes for our plentiful bingo games. My heart lifts at the news.
I just love getting these calls from groups and individuals in our community — wonderful and generous people wanting to help our Residents by offering up their time to plan a fun event, and to spend time with the men and women who live here.
There is a lot of back and forth via email. Francine Whitley our activities director and her team pull together the logistics for a party in the dining room. Sr. Marguerite and Sr. Joseph obligingly provide a list of each Resident’s wish — from practical things like nightgowns, sweaters and long sleeved shirts to lighthearted items, including stunning spring bonnets, pretty pins, beautiful plants and well, seriously yummy cookies.
After weeks of planning, shopping and organizing, the women of the MCCW are ready for their visit and it is Saint Valentine’s Day. A van packed with enormous cardboard boxes chock-full of goodies arrives. Two U.S. Servicemen quickly and obligingly unload and carry the boxes into our Home. The MCCW arrives, they are carrying nearly forty beautifully wrapped gifts, and then we all head to the first floor dining room where our Residents are just finishing their lunch.
Quickly, the MCCW along with our Activities Staff, Volunteers and Little Sisters distribute the gifts, pass around the sweets, pose for photos, and visit with each of the Residents. There is tons of visible joy in the dining room — chatter, laughter, and smiles abound.
Click here to view more photos from this special event.