Heading into the Holiday season we can reflect on 2020 being one of the most trying years in our history. As a skilled nursing facility who serves our Community’s senior population, Presentation Rehabilitation & Skilled Care Center is an organization of Brighton who can attest to just how trying the Global Pandemic has been. Like many, their Community was affected by Covid-19 in early Spring, but while the News supported local Boston area Hospitals and cheered them on as they worked diligently to protect patients, Nursing Homes were left either forgotten, or even worse bashed.
When the Allston Brighton Health Collaborative began meeting and discussing how area businesses and neighbors could help, it was City Councillor Liz Breadon’s Office, FriendshipWorks, and The Women’s Table who came together, along with Oak Square neighbors, in direct support of Presentation Rehab’s staff and residents! As the Brighton Main Streets team sat down to discuss who we should be highlighting as part of this year’s Season of Giving, it was clear that this group had a special story to share.
I reached out to the organizers of these efforts, including City Councilor Liz Breadon & her representation Pam Mullaney, Kara Jeter of FriendshipWorks, and Mary Rita Weschler of The Women’s Table and Sisters of St Joseph of Boston. We met together on a Zoom chat, which was very fitting as we discussed the Pandemic, what support was provided to Presentation Rehab, and what their support meant to the facility.
Between Liz, Kara and Mary Rita they were able to organize three very special moments for Presentation during a time that people had begun to lose their spirit. Two of the events were when representatives from area businesses, organizations and neighbors safely congregated in the courtyard at Presentation, and simply began cheering. But while the action was simple, the moment met everything. People from all over town, with posters in hand, stayed outside of the Rehab Center while clapping and shouting their support. The staff and residents at the center were caught by surprise, and surrounded the windows inside the building so they could see outside and hear the support. For it to happen two times, the entire facility felt the love they needed to keep going!
As the days continued on, Liz, Kara and Mary Rita reached out to Presentation Rehab directly, to discuss what more they could do for the employees. They discussed tons of ideas, from dropping off baked goods, bringing in lunches, or even a balloon archway, but with the reality of the Pandemic and preventing the spread of Covid-19, they had to be careful with the final decision. The idea of providing every employee with a beautiful plant to take home, along with handwritten thank you cards, was ultimately the perfect match for what the group wanted to provide. Mary Rita recalled, when she went to the Garden Center at the home improvement store they were picking the plants up at, she was wearing proper PPE including a mask, some gloves, and was happy to see the outside area of the store was hyper vigilant with safety protocols. Once inside the store, it was a stark contrast, as the inside was packed with people, desperate for a sense of normalcy and shopping, highlighting yet again that this Pandemic had really turned our world upside-down.
On the day that the plants were set up and delivered, the staff at Presentation was blown away. Since the facility had begun communicating directly with Liz, Kara and Mary Rita, the employees there knew a surprise was coming, but had no idea what to expect. On the day these plants were displayed in the courtyard, there was signage indicating they were for the staff of Presentation to take home and enjoy. To this day, many of the staff members of the facility still have their thriving plants, and the thank you cards that accompanied them were kept and cherished.
During a year that a Global Pandemic changed our lives, it was an honor to get the chance to reflect with such a supportive group of Women who gave up their own time, efforts, creativity, and connections. For the 2020 Season of Giving, it’s obvious to me that there are businesses who support the Community, but also Community who support the businesses.
If this story inspires you, keep this power of 10 going and show your support by giving $10. Your $10 may not feel like a big deal, but when combine with 10 of your friends and neighbor’s who join you to give $10, that starts to make an exponentially bigger impact. By working together we can do more than any of us can do alone. That’s the Power of 10.
Looking for more inspiration? Read more Power of 10 stories.