TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The 52 seniors, who live at Alimar Assisted Living in Tampa, are definitely feeling the effects of social distancing. They cannot leave the facility and they are not allowed to visit with their families face to face so the assistant administrator, Meredith Caraco, wrote a note on Facebook.
“I thought, ‘Why don’t I reach out to my friends on Facebook and see if some people would be willing to send cards and letters?’ and it ended up going everywhere,” said Caraco.
She admitted she was shocked by the response.
“We have people from Michigan sending us letters, people from all over Florida. It was crazy!” she exclaimed.
She actually had to interrupt the interview to accept a package. She read the note on the box.
“My mother is in a similar assisted living in New Jersey. Hang in there. This too shall pass. So,” she said, “these are probably cards too.”
Caraco had hoped to be able to pass along two or three cards to each resident at the facility but, due to the overwhelming response to her Facebook post, she thinks each resident will receive upwards of 50 cards in addition to other gifts.
“Food, snacks, games, cards, dominoes, we had someone that brought these little baggies that have poems and soaps and lotions. We have several residents who speak only Spanish and this person did origami, 52 of them, one for every resident,” Caraco said pointing to one letter, “and one side is English and one side is Spanish.”
The residents were treated to an Easter parade complete with social distancing on Saturday.
“She was watching the parade on Saturday,” said Caraco in reference to one of the seniors at the facility, “waving and smiling and she grabbed onto my arm and she was crying and thanking me. I started to cry too.”
The emotions are running high at Alimar Assisted Living but, thankfully, the residents have Caraco on their side.
“They are going to be opening cards for another week,” she said with a laugh.
She explained why these residents are so special to her.
“My poppa was the biggest influence in my life,” said Caraco, “and he passed away a few years ago and I see him in so many of our residents here. I just want to make them feel as loved as I always tried to make my poppa feel and the families, they cannot be here to do it, so I wanted to step in and be able to give that to them.”
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