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Alyssa - Manitoba Friendly Story


“So I work at a retirement residence, and Covid has been really tough on them you know? The changing restrictions, a lot of them have out of province family, they have kids that live far away, there is only one visitor allowed. For some of them the confusion of why I need to wear a mask or why they can’t see their kids or grandkids. I have a million and one stories about you know - “I had to drop halloween candy off my balcony to my grand kids” - all of these little things that just break my heart in a million pieces. We were super lucky, over summer [2020] while cases were super low we were able to have tons of events and stuff outside, it was awesome. Then winter started coming and you couldn’t go outside as much, you couldn’t have outdoor family visits - and then we got a staff case [of Covid] in the residence.

So now the residents lost their activities with each other, they couldn’t go down to the dining room to eat together, they were just in their suites by themselves and that was it. It was what we had to do, and it was really, really difficult for everyone.By the time Christmas rolled around it had gotten a little bit better and they were able to eat together in the dining room and stuff.

So my best friend, her name is Eden, works at a daycare in North Kildonan. We were talking one day about how difficult it was to have our residents by themselves. Our health and wellness director said “I am going to put out a post on facebook that if people were interested in sending us a Christmas card, that we would appreciate it.” So I let my friend Eden know, and she had all of her daycare kids send us a ton of Christmas cards - every resident in our home got a Christmas card from the kids at Eden’s daycare. It was really sweet, and really cute, and it made the resident’s Christmas super awesome.

So Covid continues and still sucks in the winter, and come february restrictions are still tight. I thought it was really special - a couple days before valentines day Eden reached out to me and told me that the director of her daycare said “Hey, restrictions are still super tight, and I remember your best friend works at a retirement residence. Her residents are probably still struggling a little with this, we are going to spend all afternoon making valentines cards for them.”

This wasn’t something I reached out to Eden about, this wasn’t Eden's idea, this was someone else who doesn’t know me, doesn’t know our residents - who thought this would be a really great idea. So all of the kids put it together, some of the kids were like “I’m going to write a card in french! Can someone help me write a card in french?” We have french residents at the home, so we made sure they got cards in french - it was just all these little things.

The Christmas cards were a beautiful thing from Eden, but this was a person who has also been struggling with changing restrictions, having to deal with kids who also might not understand why the Covid measures are in place - and it was her idea to make my residents lives better, even though she doesn’t know any of them and she doesn’t know me. 

I just thought that was super special because so many of us have struggled during this, but for some people their idea is to help others even when they or the people around them are struggling too - I just thought it was really special.”

-Alyssa.

Manitoba Friendly Story