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Aug 1, 2015

Nursing Home News--August 2015

This is the August 2015 newsletter of Friends Across the Ages nursing home outreach


We are so pleased to announce that long-time Friends Across the Ages volunteers Kim and Andrew Mitchell, have recently won a very special “Heart of the Community” award at the Haven Hospice “Work of Heart” Awards Ceremony. We nominated them for this award because they have given of themselves so generously for so many years, and felt they deserved to be recognized for their efforts. They first began volunteering at Signature Health Care in February of 2008. During the first couple of years of volunteering, Andrew had to be away for a few months at a time for military training, but still kept up with the residents through letters and phone calls. Kim continued volunteering on her own, bringing along Andrew’s letters over for the residents, and would hold up the phone so they could talk to him.


In late 2010, they took over coordinating our volunteer group at Signature. They have done a wonderful job, and our volunteer group at Signature has flourished under their direction. They also joined our board of directors in 2010, and Andrew stepped up to be our board president when we requested he fill the position in 2013. In short, every time we have needed their assistance and leadership, they have given of themselves with great generosity and grace. We honestly do not know if Friends Across the Ages would have been able to keep going over the past several years without their participation.


They have mentored dozens of volunteers, and touched the lives of countless residents, both through their own volunteer service, and through enabling others to serve. We are deeply grateful for them, and thrilled that our friends at Haven Hospice chose to recognize their contribution to the community in this way. Thank you, Kim and Andrew, for all you do.


On another note, we want to offer Kim and Andrew another sort of congratulations, as they are expecting their first child this fall. We are excited to welcome the youngest Friend Across the Ages to our community. Congratulations again, Kim and Andrew!




We hosted two very special events at different nursing homes last month, and are pleased to say that both were a great success with the residents and volunteers. The first was a “Pirate Party” at Parklands. Our regular Parklands volunteer Betsy Thewes came up with the idea and brought a treasure chest full of pirate goody bags, as well as a pirate photo booth so that everyone could have their picture taken as a pirate. A group of middle school students from Creekside Community Church came out to help us with the festivities, and everyone had a swashbuckling good time!

Our other special event was a “Summer Tea Party” at Signature Health Care. A number of volunteers brought special goodies to share: Kim and Andrew Mitchell brought the supplies to make hot tea, as well as special sausage hors d'oeuvres (a favorite of the residents), tea cups, and special hats. Jean Lansford brought a delicious punch which included sherbet—it was a huge hit. Morgan Witter made elegant finger sandwiches which were also a hit—egg salad and cucumber/cream cheese. Sarah Vesssel from Signature brought the paper goods and a few more hats, and helped in countless other ways. The Nishida family loaned us about 20 more fun hats to wear. We also had iced tea and cookies, and bought some scarves for the residents to wear and keep. Seunghee Cha and her daughters came to help us celebrate, and her younger daughter, McKayla, played the flute for the residents. It was an elegant and enjoyable afternoon. Thanks to all who helped! We hope to do more celebrations like these in the future.

Looking ahead, among our August events listed below is a Karaoke Party at North Florida Rehab and Specialty Care. Please contact us at if you’d like to attend!



Each month, in addition to groups that meet weekly for regular volunteering/visitation, Friends Across the Ages sponsors a few special events and activities at various nursing homes. These events require no ongoing commitment, though we do ask you to let us know ahead of time if you plan to attend any of these events. Here are our special events for August:


Wednesday, August 5th, 10:30 – 11:30PM – “Storytellers’ Society” at Parklands This month we are continuing to work our way through The Adventures of Davy Crockett (thanks to our volunteer John Hobbs!). We read a few chapters at each session, and pause from time to time to share any memories, stories, or comments the book might trigger. It’s a wonderful way to share, reminisce, and truly get to know the residents at Parklands Nursing and Rehab.


Monday, August 17th, 2:30-3:30 PM—Karaoke Party at NFRSCJoin the residents of North Florida Rehab and Specialty Care for an afternoon of singing the hits from across the ages…oldies, not-so-oldies, and everything in between.  Even if you don’t want to sing, come cheer the singers on! Please contact if you would like to attend. 


Wednesday, August 19th, 10:30 – 11:30PM – Fun, Games, and Music at ParklandsA group of students from Eastside High School will be coming over to play games and sing songs with the residents of Parklands Nursing and Rehab.  These are some of the same group of students that have been pen pals with several residents at Parklands. All are welcome to join the fun!


Thursday, August 27th, 2:30-3:30 PM -- Birthday celebration at Parklands -- Help us wish a happy birthday to all residents of Parklands Nursing and Rehab with birthdays in August. Meet us in the dining room where we will have singing and cake. Volunteers are needed to help gather the residents together, serve the cake, sing, clean up, etc.  Do you play an instrument or have some other talent?  We are always looking for new entertainment for the party – let us know!




Please see the above list for locations of the various events.  Directions to all the nursing homes can be found at:

Events are open to everyone (children are welcome at most events, please inquire). Please email us at and let us know if you plan to attend one of these events so that our coordinators can be on the lookout for you.


This is the August 2015 newsletter of Friends Across the Ages nursing home outreach.
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