Community Stories

Easter baskets bring cheer to seniors

April 13, 2023

Easter baskets bring cheer to seniors

Employees at Team Horner Group delivered 24 Easter baskets to the residents of a senior living facility in Oakland Park on Good Friday. 

The festive baskets were filled with sugar-free chocolates in colorful eggs, large-print Bible booklets, Easter cards, little stuffed animals and other goodies. 

Heart2Heart Volunteer Coordinator Antonella Salerno saw how much the residents were touched by the gifts as she accompanied the group of volunteers on April 7. 

“One of the seniors grabbed my hand as we were leaving and said, ‘I can’t tell you how much it means to me to receive this very special basket,’” Antonella said. “It was very, very sweet.”

Building friendships

The baskets were assembled by participants of Color Me Healthy, the employee-led wellbeing program at Team Horner. Color Me Healthy participants used to regularly host events at two local care centers, before the COVID-19 epidemic limited access to such facilities. 

Now the team is eager to get back to visiting regularly and building friendships with the seniors. Their Easter delivery to Atlantis Senior Living, a 28-bed assisted living facility in Oakland Park, was the relaunch of those visits. 

“It was a very special time,” Antonella said. “The seniors were glad to see them, and it was a nice experience.” 

An Easter singalong

The residents gathered in the activity room to receive the baskets and mingle with the three Team Horner employees who dropped them off. 

One of the seniors who received a basket spoke up, “I wish we could sing an Easter song together!” 

She started to sing, carrying others along with her in the tune. Kim Kent, well-being coordinator at Team Horner Group and Heart2Heart board president, pulled out her phone to play some Easter hymns. 

“Soon all the seniors started singing along and having a good time together,” Antonella said. “They were munching down their sugar-free chocolates. It was wonderful.” 

Color Me Healthy is already brainstorming their next event at Atlantis, perhaps with a summer theme. They hope to bring more of the team next time, Antonella said. 

Each month, Heart2Heart organizes several events at different care centers throughout Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. Individual volunteers, or groups of volunteers, can lead the event or help facilitate a special activity alongside the center’s activities director

Often, the most valuable contribution from volunteers is the conversation and time spent with the seniors as they participate in the activities.

To organize an event or find out more, call Antonella — or any of the Heart2Heart staff — at 954-315-2218.

Join the Team!

Becoming a Heart2Heart volunteer means that you are dedicated to serving the aging community. It means you want to connect in a meaningful way to a specific individual or to several people. It means you are committed to a consistent amount of time per month – whether that’s several hours a week or just a few hours per month.

Heart2Heart volunteers must be background checked and trained. Our training can be completed from your home on your computer or device, through the online Volunteer Portal. We run fingerprints in our office in Fort Lauderdale, and you can schedule an appointment with us after you finish the training.

The first step is to create an account on our Volunteer Portal. To get started, click here!

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