Cary, NC — I was invited to a very special event at Sunrise Senior Living of Cary on Valentine’s weekend that reminded me of what, in my opinion, the love-filled holiday is really about.
Valentine’s Day – Not Just for Couples
Valentine’s Day isn’t just a day for couples. This event is proof.
A group of babies and toddlers up to four years of age visited more than a dozen senior residents at Cary’s Sunrise Senior Living Community on Friday, February 12, 2016. There was a lot of running around and a lot of smiles as the children presented homemade valentines, and then served cake, to the residents.
“Thank you so much,” John Schmidt laughed as tots kept running over to him with more colorful valentines in hand.
The kids and their moms had made so many valentines, in fact, that each resident received at least five. Anne Irvin, another resident, couldn’t stop smiling as she struggled to shuffle all the paper valentines that she had received from youngsters.
This event was put on by the Moms Club of Cary, Morrisville & Apex, a local branch of Moms Club International. The group is a fun, safe and supportive network for mothers and young children who focus on philanthropy and giving back to the community. With help from their moms, these toddlers have stocked shelves at Dorcas Ministries and donated their own toys to the Helping Hands Mission during the holidays to help kids who wouldn’t get any presents otherwise.
“We want to let moms out there know that, even at the youngest of ages, kids can give back to their community,” Bena Medlock, a member of the club, said. “At each stage in their young lives, they are completely able to take away something from these experiences.”
Over the happy cries of the little ones, I asked a resident named Isabel what she thought of the event.
Isabel, I found out, was a chemistry teacher at Cary High School for 20 years before her retirement. “I loved every one of them,” she said about her teenage students.
“I love little ones like this so much, though, that I was afraid I couldn’t teach them.”
“This is our favorite visit,” she told me. “I just enjoy looking at them,” she added with a smile as another toddler who ran by her. “The same little girl who came up to me last year came up to me again this year.”
It’s not often that residents at Sunrise, or at any senior community for that matter, get to see babies and kids. “This energy is always a good thing for our residents,” Beth Neuhauser, the community’s Activity Coordinator, emphasized. I can’t think of a better Valentine’s Day present myself.
Story and photos by Jessica Patrick and Bena Medlock.