By Angela Jenkins
Special Events Project Coordinator - Faith In Action Steuben County
I realized how important respite care is to caregivers when I took the REST Companion Training to start preparing for our first drop-in center. We got to work right away.
Thankfully the volunteers were lined up to help. We couldn’t do it without them. I plan a schedule of activities for the day, and the volunteers help lead each activity. Music is a big hit! We play the piano, have sing-a-longs, play “Name That Tune”, and even had a visit by a preschool class that sang to us. One little girl was so close to tears when she first got there, but one of our guests had her singing and smiling in no time. It was so heart warming! We play stimulating games, trivia, do exercises, craft projects, and last week had our first pet visit. Our wonderful volunteers have also been a huge help with lunches each day.
Thanks to the Hornell First Baptist Church, we will now be holding “Give Them A Break” the first and third Thursdays of each month. I’m also excited to share that in the very near future we will have two other churches on board, which will add possibly three more days a month. The caregivers that we are currently working with are thrilled with the idea of having “Give Them A Break” more than once per month. I will never forget the way I felt after the first drop-in center we hosted. It was more emotional than I ever expected. I have never been part of something that made me feel so helpful. I get as much out of it as they do.
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