Spreading good cheer through kind gestures
During difficult times, it is especially encouraging when neighbors can come together to spread good cheer through kind gestures. The COVID 19 pandemic has spurred one Saline neighborhood to help the children in their subdivision, as well as the families who live in the community.
I Spy scavenger hunt
Saline’s Wildwood neighborhood is one of the largest subdivisions in the community, with over 200 homes and condominiums that connect the meandering sidewalks to many nearby destinations. The libraries, schools, parks and downtown businesses are all within walking and biking distance, making this a highly accessible and social community.
When Saline area schools made the announcement to close during the pandemic, the Saline Wildwood board sent communication to its residents with a fun way to brighten the school children’s outlook in the days ahead. Inspired by Facebook posts, the board decided to organize an I Spy Scavenger hunt for the children who walk with their families. Residents are encouraged to put images in their front windows for the children to find. After several days, the images can be changed to fit the theme.
“We are just asking people to hang something in a front window,” said Heidi Woltemath, a Wildwood resident and teacher at Pooh Corner preschool. “Every three days the item changes according to our schedule. You can color it, cut it out, print it from your printer, or whatever you wish. Then children and adults can walk the neighborhood, respecting social distancing and other guidelines, and count how many they find.”
A roll to spare
Paul Hynek and his family have been residents of Wildwood for many years. “We have lived here close to twenty three years. We were actually the fifth family to move in,” Hynek said.
After a trip to Saline Area Social Services (SASS) recently, Hynek was inspired to organize a toilet paper drive in his neighborhood. “I was dropping off some food over at SASS. There was a woman from church who was there, and we got to talking and I asked her ‘What’s your most immediate need right now?’ She said ‘Actually, toilet paper.’ I emailed Anne Cummings, who is in charge of SASS, with my idea to make sure she was okay with it. She told me their delivery had been delayed, and they were in even worse need.”
Hynek used social media sites like Nextdoor.com and Facebook to organize a toilet paper drive. Residents were encouraged to donate a roll to the drop off box at Hynek’s house. Hynek was able to deliver over 50 rolls. Other Saline neighborhoods followed suit, and by the end of the week, SASS had 550 rolls at their building to pass along to Saline residents in need.
“I thought it was kind of a fun thing to do,” Hynek said.
Wildwood residents are reaching out to their neighbors, offering to pick up groceries and prescriptions, as well as giving assistance when needed. “Keep an eye out on your neighbors, especially those in high risk categories. If you have their phone numbers, give them a call,” Woltemath added.
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