By COLlive reporter
With the senior community experiencing isolation during the Covid-19 lockdown, Chabad of West Orange in New Jersey and their Smile On Seniors program continue to create innovative ways to connect.
Just in time for the holiday of Shavuos, Smile On Seniors launched a unique and creative project playfully dubbed, Paint Pots and Plant (P.P.P.) bringing joy to local senior citizens.
Smile On Seniors is a volunteer-based program with the goal of bringing a moment of joy to the life of a senior and is run by Shlucha Altie Kasowitz, co-director of Chabad of West Orange.
“Covid-19 has affected everyone, however, our senior community has taken the biggest hit,” Kasowitz told COLlive.com. “Because of the illness and death rate among the elderly, our friends are sad, scared and lonely.”
She said she and her husband Rabbi Mendy Kasowitz have been reaching out to seniors with “daily with calls of courage, hope, faith and love,” as well as stopping by their homes and senior living communities and waving to them from outside their windows.
Wanting to do something special for Shavuos, Kasowitz and her children hand-painted flower pots and planted the flowers or plants into the pots outside of nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
“This project was a win, win, win and was extremely well received,” she says
Roz Citrin was one of the people who received the flower pot. “I thank you for your kindness, caring, effort and the gorgeous flowers in the hand-painted flowerpot,” she wrote. “Please let the children know how they brightened “Bubbe” Raisele‘s life.”
Another local, Marilyn Mohr, sent them a poem in appreciation for their efforts:
Sweet William, For Altie
The Rabbi’s wife, the Rebbetzin, came by today, masked and gloved, to plant a pot of Sweet Williams.
She brought two of her sons to assist.
The presence of children, an additional gift in this isolation.
The red blossoms, a comfortable fit with the geraniums, spider plants, and amaryllis thriving on the window shelf of my apartment.
Sweet William, a hardy plant, who like my late father, also named William, survives adverse conditions. He recovered from being smashed by a truck shortly after losing my mother.
These bright florals, placed in a pot painted by the eager hand of a child, will cheer me through this solo quarantine.
Sweet William perseveres, catches the light to spread and share the wisdom of its flowers, as my father did, as we all will in this time of solitude, nourished by the kindness of others, who come bearing blossoms.
For more info about Smile On Seniors, visit smileonseniors.com