Members of the Resident Council at Life Care Center of Puyallup, Washington, formed a Pay it Forward committee in August 2016.
The committee’s mission is to help individuals come together to change the community for the better through charitable giving.
“The subject of community participation would always come up, so the residents decided to form the committee to pay it forward,” said Jeanna Morris, activity director. “Right now, there are four to six residents who are part of the committee.”
The first community project involved making jewelry for cancer patients at the Puyallup Cancer Center. More than 15 residents helped in making the breast cancer awareness-themed jewelry, which took anywhere from 10 minutes to 12 hours to make. A total of 100 earrings and bracelets were delivered to patients in mid-October.
For the committee’s second community project, residents made more jewelry and took it to patients at the MultiCare Regional Cancer Center in November. This time, the jewelry was Halloween-and baseball-themed.
“The patients and staff [at the cancer centers] were so amazed by our residents’ generosity and kind hearts,” said Morris. “The staff at the centers were so happy to see that our residents brought smiles to the patients’ faces.”
Most recently, the committee started collecting donations for local homeless and animal shelters. No food items were collected – only clothes, blankets and hygiene products.
There were three donation goals set, with 500 items being the highest. Donations began arriving on Nov. 16, and by Dec. 9, the 500-item goal had been reached. The committee continued to collect donations until Dec. 20 and delivered the items the following day.
“Thank you to our activity director, Jeanna, for making it possible for us to start paying it forward by supplying us with the materials to make jewelry for the Puyallup Cancer Center,” said resident Ernest Judd. “We are thankful to be wrapping up our third project!”
In celebration reaching and surpassing the 500-item goal, residents and associates will host a luau in January.
“Our next community project starts in March,” said Morris. “I am so proud of our residents and their commitment to helping others in need.”