CHARLOTTE – Waltonwood Providence residents volunteer every month. For November, the Life Enrichment team decided to give back to the veteran community at Atrium Hospice House of Union County.
Life Enrichment Manager Kim Fitzgerald said the residents made tie blankets for the veterans. She said the residents were excited to make the blankets, especially after learning about the impact they would make.
“They were overjoyed to be able to make them,” Fitzgerald said. “They kept talking about, as they were making them, how soft they were and how much they’re going to love it and it’s going to keep them so warm. It was neat to see our residents not only enjoy the process, but also just knowing the purpose of it and being so enthused about it.”
Waltonwood residents also had the opportunity to bring the blankets to the hospice house and see the tangible impact of the blankets.
“They couldn’t talk enough about how much they enjoyed bringing it and hearing how much the hospice house was so thankful for everything,” Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald said hospice house volunteer coordinator Regina Collins and her staff told the residents that the blankets do more than just keep veterans warm.
“They were centerpieces for conversations about what military bases they were at, memories of their time in service,” Fitzgerald said. “They are also things that they give to the families when their loved ones pass, so it’s a memorabilia for the families to have.”
She said Collins and the team at the hospice house were so thankful for the blankets. Fitzgerald said Waltonwood residents talked about the experience and the impact for weeks after it happened.
“That is the first thing that they give to [veterans] as soon as they walk through the door. They greet them with a blanket, they welcome them in and that’s their own personal thing that they get to keep the whole time that they’re there,” Fitzgerald said.
The experience was so enjoyable and impactful that Fitzgerald said she plans to partner with hospice house beyond Veterans Day.