Dec 06, 2012
Town and Country, MO (December 4, 2012) - Residents of “The Heights”, an MS community in a local long-term care home, spent the past few days preparing for the holidays. On Nov. 29, residents traveled as a group from their home in Town and Country to the St. Louis Mills Mall in Hazelwood for their 2nd annual holiday shopping trip. On Dec. 1, residents celebrated the holidays early when they were visited by the National MS Society’s Young Professionals group from the Gateway Area Chapter.
Thursday’s shopping trip was an opportunity for residents to socialize outside of their home. “It’s not often we get out as a group and get to hangout,” said Christine. Volunteers, NMSS staff members, and a CNA mingled with 13 residents for three hours. Although they were able provide assistance, their main job was to have fun with the shoppers. Shoppers bought gifts for friends, family, and everyone else on their lists. They also had a wide variety of lunch options from the mall’s food court. “I’m happy to look around for presents for my family and to eat out for lunch. Sounds like a plan!” said Christine.
At the end of the trip, residents were very thankful for their assistance throughout the day. Some shoppers only needed help with small things, like carrying bags and pushing wheelchairs, but the help they received did not go unnoticed. “I really appreciate your help,” said Lisa. “Thank you!”
The gifts purchased on Thursday were wrapped at The Heights’ holiday party on Saturday afternoon. The Young Professionals from the National MS Society’s Gateway Area Chapter joined members of The Heights to wrap presents, send holiday cards, and eat holiday treats.
Heights resident Michelle spent most of her time working on Christmas cards. “They’re keeping us in touch with our family members and friends. This is perfect for the Young Professionals,” said Michelle. “You all could be at the mall or watching a movie, but you’re here. You all are fantabulous!”
Young Professional Angie said she had a lot of fun hanging out with resident Carol. “I know she wouldn’t be able to do some of these things on her own. Plus, she reminds me a lot of my mom. It’s amazing.” Angie lost her mom to MS in 2009. She has been involved with the Young Professionals since its start three years ago and has also participated in Walk MS and Night on the Greens. She plans on running with Team GO! For MS in the GO! St. Louis Marathon and Family Fitness Weekend in April.
Resident Michael didn’t need to have any presents wrapped or cards sent, but he did form a new bond with volunteer Zync and fellow resident Suzanne. “We’re the Three Muskateers. I’ve had a great day!” said Michael.
To see photos from these two events, please visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/gatewayMSsociety. For information on how you can join the Gateway Area Chapter’s Young Professionals, visit the Young Professionals' website at www.gatewayMSyp.org or contact Volunteer Community Outreach Coordinator Amanda Henderson at 314-446-4182.