April is community service month!
Iroquois County’s Ashkum Go-Getters 4-H Club often refers to themselves as a community service club. Struggling to find a way to connect with their senior friends under quarantine at their local nursing home, a Go-Getters’ leader decided the only option was to think electronically. And so, The Quarantine Times, a fun one page paper was created.
The Quarantine Times features everything positive. You will not find the words coronovirus, COVID-19 or even pandemic on the page. What you will find are jokes, cartoons, trivia facts, patriotic quotes, a fun activity, weather references such as “Cloudy outside...sunshine in our hearts”, many references to the cheerfulness of Spring and Easter and personal notes and drawings from 4-Hers.
The process was quite simple. When asked about possibly distributing this fun little paper, the administrator of the nearest local nursing home was definitely on board stating that the residents will LOVE it, especially knowing it was done by the kids! So that was the motivation to move forward. High schooler and Go-Getters’s secretary, Christa Hickman, volunteered to do the computer work and 4-H families were asked to research and send their fun finds to Christa…all from the comforts and safety of their own quarantined homes. It was decided to have issues of the paper available for sharing every other day during the month of April with reevaluating at the end of the month.
To date seven issues so far have been electronically sent by email to approximately 50 locations including nursing homes, assisted and independent living resident homes, a developmental disabilities home and 15 cilas. Community members are sharing with others and printing them off for their own parents. Especially exciting was when the director of a large group of homes wanted to share it with 20 plus homes across the Midwest.
Thanks to Sharlene Finegan, club leader of the Ashkum Go-Getters, for this story.