Our mission is to visit Senior Care Facilities such as nursing homes, assisted living, personal care and rehabilitation facilities, to read heartwarming stories, offer therapeutic recreation programs and share memories.
Stories and activities that remind the residents of the good old days….the days when there was little technology, boys played wiffle-ball, hamburgers were 25 cents and a good book was considered a very special gift.
An optional part of the ONCE UPON A TIME STORY PROGRAM, left to the discretion of the Activity Director, is that each resident receives a lap blanket or a stuffed animal to keep. The distribution of the stuffed animals and lap blankets is not a necessary part of the program, just an extra component/bonus. We have been offering the program for a year and no one has declined the beautiful blankets and/or stuffed animals.
Isn’t that what we did as kids – snuggled up with a blanket and stuffed animal on the sofa as our parents read us a story?
For many Seniors and Vets, they have no one to listen to their stories, dreams and hopes. In our discussion of stories frim the past, opportunities arise for them to tell their own stories about their old house in the mountains or their life in the beloved South.
Remember fairy tales and fables such Jack and the Beanstalk, The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs, Hansel and Gretel, The Little Engine That Could, The Poky Little Puppy, and Little Orphan Annie?
Do you remember how you learned about perseverance, doubt, anger, peace, hope, gratitude, honesty, courage, self-discipline, responsibility, volunteering, going to church, and faith?
“Once upon a time…….” – they were magical words!
In children’s stories, we learned lessons:
- to sit still, not to be “unruly,”,stay in your seat, raise your hand, do not call out
- self-discipline is learned in the face of struggles and challenges, you need a fighting spirit
- the unfortunate consequences of fighting, and “no bickering”
if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again
- controlling our temper
it it “ain’t broke, don’t fix it how to control our conversation
what to do when you have “butterflies in your stomach
- if you are greedy, you will get nothing at all
- stand straight, sit straight, act straight
for everything, there is a season
kindness to all creatures, great and small
never cry “wolf” – a liar will never be believed even when he tells the truth
imaginary fears are the worst
little friends may prove great friends
example is the best teacher
be content with your lot; one can not be first in everything
slow and steady wins the race
there are children in China who have nothing to eat
- it’s the thought that counts
it is better to give than to receive
be gratedul for what you have
- an act of dishonesty is never truly hidden, somebody will always find out
Remember back in the day, when your parents, grandparents and teachers taught you about the virtues of good habits, faith, loyalty, compassion, courage, work, friendship and other tools for living?
When we were young, our hearts and minds were trained to do good for others.
So that is why, we are collecting the comfy lap blankets and the little stuffed animals…..to evoke the feelings of security and love that the residents had as young children. And the memories of when they had to walk miles to school, sold produce from a truck, plowed the land and had to drop out of school after 7th grade because of hard times.
It’s amazing the stories that you hear from Seniors and the men who served in the Korean War and WWII.
About Patricia Gallagher:
“Our Villagers loved your program about THE 20 WONDERFUL THINGS. They said it was a wonderful walk down memory lane. They felt we should schedule you to come back again for those who missed it!”
Director of Villager Services
Pine Run Community
And who were the Seniors a few short years ago? What were they doing? And what did they look like? Here are a few interesting photos!