Residents of McMurray Hills Manor and Premiere Washington Well being Heart took half in an early Easter celebration on Monday, when the Easter bunny, together with Gateway Hospice volunteers, delivered stuffed Easter bunnies, Easter luggage, and loads of smiles as a part of the Gateway Hospice Bunny Hop.
Gateway Hospice volunteers and workers have spent the previous week hopping to senior dwelling services and nursing properties in Washington County and surrounding counties to rejoice Easter with seniors.
In all, Gateway will distribute about 600 stuffed bunnies and different critters, chocolate eggs and bunnies, and different goodies as a part of its Embracing Life marketing campaign.
“That is so good. I like my bunny,” mentioned Deborah Balogh, who chatted briefly with the Easter bunny and FaceTimed along with her granddaughter to point out her the festively embellished constructing.
Amanda DeGusipe, a nurse at Gateway Hospice, mentioned the Bunny Hop is a variation of the MaryBelle Child Doll Mission, which distributes child dolls and teddy bears to seniors with Alzheimer’s illness and dementia.
DeGusipe based the MaryBelle Child Doll Mission – named for her grandmother – in 2019, after seeing that holding a child doll decreased stress and agitation in her grandmother and different Alzheimer’s sufferers.
“Seniors like to take care of one thing, they love one thing acquainted,” mentioned DeGusipe. “The bunnies brighten their day.”
DeGusipe spent the previous month-and-a-half gathering donations of stuffed bunnies and different objects for the Bunny Hop. A number of companies, organizations, colleges, and people contributed to the drive.
Kids from the Bradley Heart in Pittsburgh, which helps kids and youths who expertise trauma, psychological sickness, and behavioral challenges, embellished all the luggage. Elementary faculty college students made playing cards that have been included in most of the luggage.
Final week, 102-year-old Agnes Brandon, a resident of Strabane Woods, was a recipient of a bunny and an Easter basket. The Easter basket, Brandon mentioned, was the primary she ever obtained.
Brandon, whose father immigrated from Scotland and labored within the metal mill in Donora, grew up in the course of the Nice Despair and her household was too poor to offer Easter baskets. Her neighbors, she mentioned, boiled a dozen eggs and introduced them to her home for the vacation.
Brandon informed the volunteers who dropped off her Easter presents, “The Lord despatched individuals such as you to assist us. God bless you.”
DeGusipe mentioned Gateway Hospice’s purpose by Embracing Life is to enhance the standard of life for seniors.
“Loads of occasions you hear the phrase ‘hospice’ and also you assume meaning the top and giving up, however that isn’t it. It’s about specializing in the standard of life,” mentioned DeGusipe. “Our entire purpose is high quality of life, and that is a part of it.”