“One of my goals as chaplain is to instill in the hearts of our residents the reality that they still have purpose, and that they can still play a vital part in their community. When I learned one of our C.N.A.’s son, Kenneth Wright, was being deployed to Afghanistan, our “Adopt a Soldier” program was birthed.
Since Kenneth left for Afghanistan in July, every Tuesday during our morning prayer meeting the residents remembered Kenneth and his unit praying for their safety and God’s oversight. Resident’s ideas were also sought as to other ways we could support Kenneth. On several occasions residents met together and prepared card; it was very touching to observe residents painstakingly composing their cards.
Family members and stakeholders were also invited to participate in the Adopt a Soldier program. A care box was prepared and placed at the Nurses’ station inviting cards and letters, contributions of needed items like razors as well as personal favorites like Hot Tomales and other candies, Wyler’s Singles-to-Go Lemonade, and Slim Jims. Giving became contagious and the care box was quickly filled to capacity! Needless to say, our Adopt a Soldier Program was a huge success!
As residents and stakeholders placed their hands on the box praying for its safe arrival, one resident had tears flowing down her cheeks. I think this said it all—we have the ability to touch others without even leaving the U.S. or the comfort of our homes through “love” packages, but most of all, through our prayers.”
We are planning a “visit” with Kenneth via Skype in the next few days too! That will be a new experience for all of our residents! Our future goal is to expand the program to bless other residents’ family members and stakeholders’ families who have also been deployed and are serving our country.