Seniors get surprise Easter baskets at nursing home


Shellie Ray of Newport and her daughter, Laynie Tipton, embrace after delivering 84 Easter baskets for senior citizens at Medilodge of Monroe Sunday morning as part of their Ray 4 Hope program to bring joy to residents at nursing homes.

More than 80 residents at Medilodge of Monroe acquired a surprise Easter basket full of goodies at their door Sunday because of the generosity of the Ray four Hope grandparent program launched by Shellie Ray.

The single mom of three youngsters from Newport gathered donations on-line and put in her personal cash to supply baskets to the senior residents. Both she and her daughter, Laynie Tipton, 16, stayed up till midnight Saturday filling the baskets after which delivered them in two automobiles Sunday morning. Staff from assisted care facility met them outdoors and loaded the baskets on carts to be introduced inside.

“They are going to love them,” mentioned Phoebe Revels, an actions aide who assisted Morgan Mayes, a receptionist, with loading one cart.

“I can’t wait to pass them out and see their faces,” Darla Lovell, one other worker, mentioned. “They feel so special.”

Each basket contained coloring books, crayons, crossword puzzles, pens, chapstick, lotion, comfortable meals and slightly stuffed bunny or child chick. And some cookies and different snacks.

“They don’t get a lot of snacks, so I wanted to make sure we included those,” Ray, 46, mentioned. “Plus a Hershey bar. That was my mom’s favorite candy.”

She and her daughter needed handy out the baskets personally to every senior, however couldn’t because of COVID-19 restrictions brought on by the worldwide pandemic.

It’s not the primary time they’ve delivered treasured presents to seniors in nursing houses. Before Christmas, she and Laynie delivered presents to about 350 residents at 5 nursing houses in Monroe County. When her mom, Mary Balutis, handed away in October, 2019, Shellie was impressed to do one thing in her honor to make a distinction. Her mom had been at Medilodge for six months and recalled how lonely residents can get.

“I spent a lot of time there and grew attached to the nursing home,” she recalled. “I was appreciative of how the staff took care of and treated mom and wanted to give back to fill that loneliness, especially with families not being allowed to visit. It was very emotional for me to see that.”

She created Ray four Hope, a nonprofit group that adopts grandparents all through Monroe County. For Christmas, with the assistance of one other daughter, Kristen, 26, of Mendon and Jefferson High School National Honor Society college students who helped wrap presents, greater than 5,000 presents had been delivered to senior residents dwelling in 5 nursing houses. Many folks donated to the trigger then. Revels mentioned many residents nonetheless use blankets donated at Christmas.

“I recognized the smallest gestures were appreciated, from a hug, a smile or a quick hello,” Ray mentioned. “We’re not only helping the grandparents who were adopted, but also the staff who often put on parties for the residents to let them know they’re being thought of. I think that’s so cool.”

Each basket price about $20 to place collectively. Donations coated bills for 65 of the baskets, with Ray paying for goodies within the remaining baskets.

She mentioned the kindness, generosity and compassion of people that donated to her Web website (www.ray4hope.com) confirmed that many individuals do care about seniors and wish Monroe County to be a greater place.

“People are so happy when they see all the presents,” she mentioned. “Ohmigosh, their hearts swelled at Christmas. We were told one guy was overwhelmed with joy and cried. It’s beautiful to actually see it.”

Since December, she has registered her group as a non-profit entity to maintain monitor of the donations and meet authorized necessities for giving. She will proceed to simply accept donations for an additional drive this Christmas. She is grateful for her daughter’s assist.

“I’m really proud of her. What I need are volunteers to wrap and deliver the presents,” she mentioned. “It’s a lot of hours. We want to grow and perhaps take on another county. This has changed my life in a positive way.”   

Persons may name Ray if wanted for info at 777-9760.



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