Today’s top news story is about the emergence of heroes in response to the COVID crisis. All around the world people are going to extraordinary measures to do good things for others. For example, in Germany clowns entertain seniors in isolation by performing in the street outside. The group “Laughing Helps”, an association of “clinical clowns” who entertain people under medical and nursing care, usually entertain retirees in their rooms at seniors homes, but due to coronavirus-enforced isolation have taken to performing outside instead so that their audience can watch from their windows or balconies. Now, how cool is that?
Community Heroes Emerge During COVID Crisis
Banff, Alberta is experiencing up to an 85 per cent unemployment rate as businesses and people react to ordered closures and self-isolation directives, according to MLA Miranda Rosin. “That entire economy has really crumbled in the last couple weeks,” said the provincial representative for Banff-Kananaskis. “To not have any tourism or any visitors has completely decimated every business in town.” But in the close-knit community, even hard-hit businesses are trying to help neighbors.
Great Taste Instead Of Waste
For example, the Grizzly House, an iconic lodge-style building on Banff Avenue famous for its fondue, had to lay off 56 employees — many of them long-term staff. But, determined to make the best of a bad situation, the general manager and owner, Francis Hopkins, asked the town how the Grizzly House, and its fully functional, but idle kitchen could help. In response, the town of Banff provided Hopkins a list of 50 people, many of them seniors, who would benefit from a comfort food meal delivered every other day. And, his efforts have been greatly appreciated. Francis says they are feeling the love. “It’s amazing for us, we feel almost selfish for how uplifting and positive it is.” Bravo Francis and the good folks of Banff!!!
Bingo Babes Swoon Over Caller
Not one to be upstaged, Matthew McConaughey showed true star power when he provided seniors in quarantine with some unexpected entertainment. The Academy Award-winning actor hosted a virtual bingo game for residents at The Enclave at Round Rock Senior Living in Texas, As he enthusiastically read out winning numbers via video chat, McConaughey’s wife, mom and kids crowded around his computer cheering for the participants. The seniors each appeared on individual screens — some beamed at the camera while others stayed focused on their bingo cards. Molly Davis Nedley, sales director at the facility, told KEYE-TV that the McConaughey’s bingo night was “a wish come true.” “The residents absolutely loved seeing Matthew and his family, and enjoyed hearing him talk about what he’s doing to get through this crisis,” she said. “It gave them hope and was the boost that they needed to get through this lonely, challenging time.” Kudos to Monsieur McConaughey!!!
Heroes Put On Parades
In Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada, staff at Pine Grove Care Centre had a surprise this afternoon (April 6), as a parade of grateful people came by to say thank you. The parade, organized by the centre’s recreational manager Wendy Romanowski, was an idea pitched by other society members. It started off with 10 or so people, but has grown to a couple of dozen people parading by with signs, balloons and honking. “The parade is the family members (of residents) showing support to the amazing staff,” she says. “That’s what it’s about, giving the staff that extra boost. They need to know they’re loved and we know they’re all doing such an amazing job in there keeping families safe.” They’re courageous people,” says Romanowski of the staff. “They put their smiles on everyday for these folks, even though probably inside they’re terrified, but they’re doing what they want to do, and they’re doing it with their hearts.” The parade was organized to boost spirits; to keep spirits up. My hat’s off to the Pine Grove Care Centre staff, and all those who made such an effort to say thanks to folks who sadly don’t hear it very often!
And also in British Columbia, a young lady in Prince George celebrated her 101st birthday over the weekend in a way that she’ll never forget, as locals with hearts and cards in windows and balloons tied to mirrors cruised by her hollering and singing birthday wishes. Mary Westlake turned 101, and to mark the occasion, her family held a drive-by birthday party. And what a party it was! Participants created cards, signs and showed them off to Mary as they drove by. “I think it’s wonderful,” she said. “I didn’t know anything about it until it began. Everybody waving at me had signs. It was nice.” Mary says she looks forward to holding a similar celebration when she turns 102. You rock Prince George!
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