At the close of a difficult year, Marquis Companies is hoping to end on a positive note for long-term care residents at its Hope Village campus in Canby, with a first-of-its-kind, walk-through holiday light display.
Activity Director Courtney Hohensee tells The Canby Current that this time of year, she would normally be organizing a series of the ever-popular “Christmas lights drives.”
“We usually drive around Canby several times a week and check out everybody’s lights,” she says. “We have a full bus every time. Everyone loves it.”
Because of the continuing coronavirus pandemic — to which those who are older and infirm are known to be more at risk — that won’t be possible this year.
“We can’t pack all of our residents onto a bus,” she says. “So, we’ve had to get really creative. I wanted to bring something to them that’s just a little taste of what we normally do — after a year of missing out on so much.”
If Hohensee and Marquis Hope Village couldn’t bring residents to the lights, they decided to bring the lights to their residents, with a crowd-sourced display that the community is helping put on.
Hohensee posted on Facebook Monday, asking residents for lights, lawn ornaments, inflatables and other displays (plus they ever-important extension cords), and the responses started flooding in.
“My phone has been blowing up this week,” she says. “We’ve had people ask where they can send lights, ask where they can send gift cards. We’ve had people who aren’t even in Canby wanting to help out. It’s really encouraging.”
Marquis Hope Village hopes to collect all the donations by next Friday, Dec. 11, then spend a few days setting everything up.
The display will stay up for at least a few days for independently mobile residents to enjoy, but residents will be taken through by staff on the night of the 15th or 16th, when the facility offers its annual, specially themed holiday meal.
The past nine months of the pandemic has been particularly hard on care home residents, who have had to deal with much more stringent quarantine conditions than the general public.
Visitations with loved ones have been severely restricted, while most regular communal activities and outings have been canceled or significantly modified.
“There have been a lot of cancellations,” Hohensee says. “The residents have missed out on a lot — not being able to see loved ones, things like that. With the holidays, that makes it especially difficult for a lot of folks.
“It’s just been a really tough year, so I’m hoping that we can end the year on somewhat of a good note.”
To support the Christmas Lights Display at Marquis Hope Village, contact Hohensee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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