Community bands together to bring SMILE drive to elderly; restricted but not canceled


(03/23/20) Smiles can be hard to come by during stressful times like this, especially in nursing homes. That’s why Paramount Healthcare, Azalea Estates Assisted Living and the Hope Unit of Morehouse General Hospital organized a smile drive to deliver just that; more smiles to the elderly while in quarantine.

While their hearts were in the right place, the recent stay at home order has temporarily put a damper on things.

“It effectively puts it on pause” says Chaplain Paul Ford with Paramount Healthcare.

The drive aimed to collect craft and media items, anything from coloring books, puzzles, iPods and DVS’s. With this being said, the seniors are still finding ways to stay busy.

“Intercom bingo, calling bingo over the television, mobile ice cream truck, a little cart delivering ice cream sundaes from room to room, E-excersize that people can participate from their room, pool noodle bop, our activity directors will go down the hall, bring each person to their room and give them a pool noodle and they’ll just bop the ball down the hallway” he says.

Activity staff are also helping them to stay in touch with family remotely through calls and video chat. Despite the restriction on personal donations, there are still ways the public can bring smiles safely, in this case digitally.

“A child for instance, wanted to color a picture for a resident, they could certainly do that, take a picture of that picture and inbox it. People from the community, from our local Christian school that have sent videos, just encouragement videos” he says.

If you are interested in sharing some happiness to the elderly quarantined in their homes, you can send pictures and videos to Paramount Healthcare Consultants or Azalea Estates Assisted Living of Monroe via their Facebook pages. Activity staff will make sure they receive them.

Once the stay at home order is lifted, if you would like to donate physical items, drop-off locations are listed here:

Rocky Branch Assembly of God
167 Rocky Branch Rd, Farmerville, LA 71241
Mon-Thurs. 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
(318) 726-6677

First United Methodist Monroe
3900 Loop Rd, Monroe, LA 71201
Mon-Fri. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
(318) 325-7335

Farmerville First Assembly of God
920 South Main Street, Farmerville, LA 71241
Mon-Fri. 9 a.m. -3 p.m.
(318) 368-8466

Paramount Healthcare Consultants
1905 North 7th Street, West Monroe, LA 71291
Mon-Fri. 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
(318) 812-2140

St. John Missionary Baptist Church
1407 W Madison Ave, Bastrop, LA 71220
Tues.-Thurs. 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
(318) 281-1760

First Baptist Church of Bastrop
620 E Madison Ave, Bastrop, LA 71220
Mon.-Thurs. 8-5, Fri. 8-12
(318) 281-6885

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