Bringing Out the Good From a Difficult Situation
We were delighted this morning when Kathy Luongo, a Resident’s daughter, along with his granddaughter, stopped by to deliver handmade gifts for each of our employees – a colorful array of more than 100 jars of bath salts in lavender, eucalyptus, and orange, and each topped with a Christmas ornament and hand sanitizer. Kathy’s father, Jerry, lives in one of our independent living apartments.
“I just want to offer these small tokens of our appreciation to the employees for the amazing work you do each and every day,” said Kathy. “I hope everyone likes them! You can use them as a foot soak too.” Her note that came with these lovely gifts reads, Caregiving is a work of Heart, May God bless you at Christmas and always! These gifts are so very appreciated. Thank you!
A little later, several employees from DC Health arrived and set up in our auditorium to administer COVID tests to each of our Home’s employees. Soon after their arrival, an influx of employees and Little Sisters (socially distanced and wearing masks) formed a line to be tested. One by one they entered, checked in, and got tested.
DC Health regulates how frequently we should be testing staff, Little Sisters, and Residents. Since early summer, our staff has been required to test for COVID-19 every week. In addition, employees comply with temperature checks, answer screening questions, wear masks, and utilize PPE – gloves, face shields and isolation gowns – as required. How blessed we are in this time of a world pandemic to have access to COVID tests and adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)!
Earlier today Nate Bradley and Evan Friedman from Casey Trees came to our Home to plant several native shade trees – a Yellowwood, a Sweetbay Magnolia, a Blackgum, and a Holly – as part of a grant program to reduce stormwater runoff that harms the District’s waterways and the Chesapeake Bay.
“The Magnolia in front of St. Joseph’s Villa was planted in memory of Sr. Jeanne du St. Esprit who died here just at the beginning of the pandemic,” said Sr. Jeanne Veronique, who reached out to Casey Trees to arrange for the tree planting.
As a partner in this Department of Energy and Environment program, Casey Trees’ mission is to restore, enhance and protect the tree canopy of the nation’s capital by overseeing the planting of native shade trees. As these trees grow they help to mitigate runoff and remove pollutants; leaf canopies slow rain fall, leaves act like cups, and roots absorb more water and keep soil from eroding.
“We’re very excited to be able to plant 4 new trees at your property,” said Cece McCrary of Casey Trees. “The shade trees cool the city, provide food and habitat for birds, insects and mammals, and help to strengthen the ecosystem by cleaning the air, and they are simply beautiful!”
To prepare for Christmas during the pandemic, Pope Francis suggests living out Advent with intensity. “Let us try to bring out the good even from the difficult situation that the pandemic imposes upon us: greater sobriety, discreet and respectful attention to others who may be in need, some prayer also within the family, with simplicity. These three things will help us greatly.”
– Pope Francis
November 30, 2020