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Southern Eyes

The older I get, the more tired I feel.

It's a common complaint of many of my peers. Ask anyone how they are, and they are either "busy" or "tired." Sometimes, it makes me want to rush those "golden years" into coming a little faster, so things will slow down. (When I cover events with senior citizens, I hear the jokes about the advantages of retired life such as going to bed at 8 p.m. and taking naps during the day, so please don't be offended if you are in those golden years.)

Recently, I had the pleasure of going to Thomson Manor Nursing Home. And not only did I find senior citizens who were not taking naps, but they were doing things to help others. The fact that they are residents of a nursing home means they are dependent on others for their well-being. And not only are many of them confined by the walls of the facility, they also are confined to wheelchairs. But this does not hamper their enthusiasm for helping others who are less fortunate.

The activities director of Thomson Manor has thought of fun ways to get the residents involved in the community by holding fundraisers for charitable or medical research organizations. And the residents have jumped in with great support and enthusiasm. The first fundraiser was a canned food drive for Manna and Agape Ministries in Thomson. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation was the recipient of the next fundraiser in July and August. In both cases, the amount raised was impressive. Breast Cancer Awareness and the Samaritan's Purse are next on the list.

I visited Thomson Manor for the Cystic Fibrosis awards presentation, and I don't know who was more excited, the residents or the staff. They all received certificates and t-shirts, in addition to the applause from their peers.

I have to hand it to the nursing home officials, their idea was a smart one. Not only does it give the residents an opportunity to be involved in the community, but it gives the community the opportunity to be involved with the residents. To solicit funds, the residents need help. And who better to help than a local business or individual who will "adopt" a resident for a particular fundraiser event? Not only do they get to share the load of the work, but they get to share the joy that they reap in the process. And that creates more joy, which could create a cycle that has the potential of being very contagious.

And for the record, the residents aren't left to finding all this help and money on their own. The staff of the nursing home also gets involved. It's teamwork, which again, has the potential of ... I know, you got it. I like it.

To get involved yourself, call Activities Director Tamicka Franklin at Thomson Manor, 706-595-5574.



Web posted on Thursday, October 09, 2008













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