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Sleepy Eye FFA members spreading more holiday cheer

Deb Moldaschel
The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch

On Monday, Dec. 21, Sleepy Eye FFA members, friends, and advisors, did a People Parade at the Sleepy Eye Care Center, Countryside, Divine Providence, and Lake Villa.

Sleepy Eye FFA members held a People Parade at Divine Providence and SE Care Center.

(Left) FFA members and friends posed for a picture before their People Parade at Divine Providence and Lake Villa. Picture are, front from left: Priscilla Martinez, Nayzeth Luna, William Lendt, McKenna Dockter, and Leisha Martinez. Back: Morgan Hoffmann, Brooke Arneson; Grace, Carmen, Charlie and Isaac Lendt; Winsten Nienhaus, Alex Confer, and Abi Hornsby.

(Right) FFA members stopped for a quick chat with one of the residents at Countryside during the FFA People Parade. "We lifted the resident’s spirit as she lifted ours!"

Mrs. Hoffmann was trying to find a way to spread holiday cheer because the Bingo activities the FFA chapter typically does were unable to be held this year.

Because the FFA members have been painting windows at the Care Center and Countryside, and sometimes residents watch through the windows, having members walk around the outside of the facilities seemed to be the only way to have an event this Christmas. Mrs. Manderfeld made the signs, while Mrs. Hoffmann handed out decorations for the students to wear, including light up necklaces and headbands, garland, and Santa hats.

After taking a group photo, the People Parade began. As we walked around all sides of the Care Center, playing and singing Christmas music, we found one room with birthday balloons. The group stopped to sing a loud happy birthday song to the resident through the window before moving on their way! Tears of joy ran down her cheeks at the sight and sounds of the FFA members.

Later, members stopped a couple of times as residents of Countryside cracked their doors open to chat with the students outside. They expressed their thanks for the kids coming out in the cold to spread holiday cheer. One resident even said how much she loved us!

Then across town we went to Divine Providence and Lake Villa. The highlight of this part of the parade was ladies blowing kisses to us as we waved through the windows! It was a really chilly night, but the residents at all of the facilities warmed our hearts as they waved back, blew kisses, and said thank you for coming!

Thank you so much to activity directors/staff at the facilities for working with the FFA to coordinate the timing of the event — Shelly Rae Zinniel, Nancy Windschitl, and Denise Lienig. FFA members also made cards that were dropped off for the residents along with wrapped ornaments.

The FFA People Parade was a great way to spread holiday cheer to all nursing home and assisted living residents in the year of 2020!