Brittney Lofthouse – Contributing Writer
As news broke that several local nursing home facilities began to battle COVID19 outbreaks this week, local residents turned to social media to do something special for residents who may not be able to spend the holidays with their loved ones.
“My friend Jamaica Taylor tagged me in a post about the need at Grandview Manor,” said Amanda Shaw, owner of Macon Rental. “She has relatives that work there and heard that everyone was in need of a little joy. She knows that this is the sort of thing I like to help with and I immediately reached out to my friend Summer [Kelly] who always steps up. But we couldn’t just do one care home knowing they all need help this year.”
Shaw, who regularly goes above and beyond to give back to the community and spearheads efforts such as ensuring the school system had bags and supplies to provide meals to children this Spring when school abruptly went virtual, made a post on her Facebook page inviting anyone who wanted to spread some holiday cheer at local nursing homes to help organize the donation drive.
“The best thing about Facebook is the reach it has through out communities,” said Shaw. “So on Tuesday when we started mentioning it we immediately got donations.”
Individuals and businesses began reaching out to Shaw and Taylor as well as Kelly to make the holiday gifts a reality. Dodge Packaging helped by getting a lot of the bulk items to gift such as lotions and individuals donating cards from students to treats, to special holiday decor.
“We have collected all sorts of wonderful stuff including slippers, socks, pjs, large print puzzle books, treats, all types of self care items, and stuffed animals,” said Shaw. “Several people and churches have donated money as well —not a bad haul for less than a week, all thanks to the generosity of many.”
All together the community came together to provide 210 care packages for the residents of the Franklin House, Grandview Manor, and Macon Valley Nursing Center. There were also additional donations to provide gifts for staff members. All donated items not used for the 210 packages in Macon County will be donated to care homes in Sylva.