Schaumburg residents send gifts, cards to Friendship Village seniors

  • Amanda Byron and Melanie Buchanan, along with some of their friends, assembled and delivered gifts for Willows Assisted Living at Friendship Village.

    Amanda Byron and Melanie Buchanan, along with some of their friends, assembled and delivered gifts for Willows Assisted Living at Friendship Village. Courtesy of Friendship Village

 
Submitted by Bridget Machalinski
Updated 12/29/2020 9:05 AM

What Friendship Village senior living community is finding sweeping its campus in extraordinary numbers is the kindness and generosity of its neighbors in the greater Schaumburg area.

Over the course of the last several weeks, hundreds of holiday greeting cards and goody bags have been brought to Friendship Village.

 

"It's been an amazing way to brighten the holidays of our residents," said Jill Steco, director of lifestyles.

There are an estimated 2,000 cards and gifts for distribution to the residents of the retirement community, to date.

National Honor Society students from both Stevenson and Schaumburg high schools, as well as second- to eighth-grade students at St. Peter Lutheran School, have made cards and letters of encouragement for residents.

Area businesses have participated as well. Staff at Inspire 11 in Chicago and Perdoceo Education, Schaumburg, have created and delivered greeting cards. Hope Judd, student account specialist at Perdoceo, also provided small bottles of lotion for the nursing staff at Briarwood Healthcare at Friendship Village. Cogensia of Schaumburg shared wrapped boxes of chocolates with residents in assisted living.

Area residents Amanda Byron and Melanie Buchanan created gift bags for residents in assisted living at Friendship Village, motivated by Buchanan's grandmother's positive experience as a resident there.

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"Every year, my family tries to give back in some way, and with Melanie's grandmother having been a resident there, I approached her with the idea of making bags for the residents. I called Friendship Village to inquire about being able to do this," said Byron.

"We assembled the bags with our children and friends. The bags included word searches, pens, bookmarks, no-slip socks, gingerbread cookies, chocolates, Christmas tree brownies/cakes, ChapStick, lotion, and candy canes. All of those items were store-bought. We also included handmade Christmas cards as well."

Friendship Village neighbor Barbara Livesay created handwritten cards for residents.

Caught up in the holiday spirit, residents in independent living at Friendship Village have been making gifts to deliver to their neighbors in Willows Assisted Living, Reflections Memory Support and Briarwood Healthcare at Friendship Village.

"During what has been a challenging time for everyone, the kindness and caring of strangers has created a bright spot for our residents," said Carla Smith, assistant director of lifestyles.

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