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by Holly Walter
St. Mary’s Ladies of Charity in Lancaster New York is shut down like so many chapters and associations across the country because of the Corona Virus Pandemic. No activities, no meetings, no thrift store to go work at, and no donations accepted in our bin at church. We decided as a group to help our local assisted living facility, Lancaster Manor, in any way we could. That facility is locked down like so many others across the nation and no visitors are allowed in. The residents are isolated even more than the general population has been. We consulted with the Activities Director at the facility, Sharon Ellis, and asked what we could do to help. She suggested that we could donate packaged cookies, candy and snacks for the residents. Then Sharon asked us if we would like to supply the 52 female residents of Lancaster Manor with flowering plants for a Mother’s Day tea she was having on Wednesday May 6th. We began bringing the cookies and snacks in plastic bags and setting them outside the door, ringing the bell, and having the staff bring in the treats. Sharon would then sanitize the unopened bags of goodies and give them out to the residents.
Our treasurer, Maxine Anstett, made arrangements with a local florist to supply plants and everyone in our group pitched in with either money or their own plants to get them there by Tuesday May 5th. Plants were purchased and delivered by Maxine, Marian Snyder, and Holly Walter at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday and staff from Lancaster Manor brought them inside. Maxine’s college age granddaughter, Emily, also helped out with the delivery.
St. Mary’s Ladies of Charity will continue to help Lancaster Manor with donations. We live in a new world now filled with social distancing, wearing masks everywhere we go outside the home, and feeling alone and isolated ourselves at times. If we feel a little down in the dumps just remember the words of St. Louise de Marillac, “Wherever we may be, God is with us, so we must be always joyful.” We do what we can to help in smaller and quieter ways now and we must keep our spirits up and look forward to better times. We bless all mothers in a special way for all they do for us in so many ways.