Today I’d like to share a story that Hannah, our Recreation Director for Independent and Assisted Living, told me about something that happened in her department. Each year at Easter, the Recreation team offers residents and staff the opportunity to purchase “Bunnygrams.” For $3, a bunny-suit-clad Recreation team member will deliver a chocolate bunny and an Easter greeting to any resident or staff member the purchaser chooses. The proceeds from Bunnygrams go to the Resident Care Fund.
Several weeks before Easter, just after the Bunnygram announcement went out, Polly and Peter—both independent residents–stopped by Hannah’s office. Between them, they purchased Bunnygrams for all 24 residents in the Lodge at Buffalo Hill, our Memory Support community.
Polly and Peter both have personal experience with people with dementia. Polly was a caregiver to someone with Alzheimer ’s disease, and Peter is a retired pastor who has counseled numerous families. He’s also had close friends with dementia. They know from experience how much little things matter in the daily lives of those with memory loss, and they took it upon themselves to provide one of those little things. By giving Bunnygrams, Polly and Peter gave moments of joy to 24 people who are experiencing one of the most difficult effects of aging.
But the care Polly and Peter exhibited with the Bunnygrams goes beyond the Lodge. At the same time they gave moments of joy to the Lodge residents, they gave nearly $50 to the residents of the Skilled Care Center (enough to cover unreimbursed Medicaid costs for one resident for one day). Their small act of generosity flows through our entire community. Polly and Peter bought Bunnygrams because they cared about the Lodge residents, and because Hannah structured the program with philanthropy in mind, the whole community benefits.
Polly and Peter’s generosity is just one example of the caring community we’ve built here at Immanuel. Everyone from the staff who conceived of the Bunnygrams to the residents who purchased them in bulk thought carefully about how to make the lives of others better. Small moments of joy matter, and a small gift can make a big difference in the lives of those who live here.