“Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need,” -1 Timothy 5:3.
It’s this same charge that has inspired WCC’s Share Because You Care ministry, which
demonstrates Christ’s love by providing personal care items and caring visits to residents in government-subsidized assisted living.
“I think we forget about older people, especially because they say ‘I don’t need
anything,’” says Pam Faessler, coordinator for Share Because You Care. “They should be taken
care of in a kindly manner. We need to see them.”
Pam’s heart was moved to start this ministry around Christmas 2012, when her dad moved into Oak Ridge Assisted Living in Hastings. As she visited and heard other residents’
stories, she became motivated to not allow them to be overlooked. “I realized that all these people, especially men, who were sitting outside every day had very little,” Pam says. “My eyes were really opened to see there was a huge need there. It makes me sad.”
For most residents, based on the government waiver, very little is available each month to
cover medical co-pays, non-prescription medications, all personal care items, clothing, phone, stamps and any extras. One item can quickly wipe out a month or more of funds. Most residents are on daily aspirin, she says, or other non-prescription medications. If they need shoes, they often need to be specialty shoes with orthotics, which can easily use two months’ worth of funds.
Even a new toothbrush – the most prized donation from the last visit – can become a luxury on a limited budget. While Pam’s dad benefits from his family’s support to fill those gaps, many residents do not have family providing for their additional needs, Pam says. “What happens to someone whose family isn’t stepping in?” she inquires.
As Share Because You Care grows, Pam hopes to step in for residents not only at Oak
Ridge, but also at the Newport facility and others in the area. Donations are always accepted in the Share Because You Care basket in the church lobby. Another delivery is in the process of being scheduled in the next month or two, so please take a moment to pick up some extra items whenever you’re shopping. Items requested include bar/hand soap, deodorant, hand/body/lip lotion, toilet/facial tissue, dental care items, shaving cream, razors, paper towels, shampoo, cotton swabs/balls, stamps, note cards, pens, hard candy, Christian novels and puzzles.
“If people are in need, they should be taken care of,” Pam says. “It’s not right. I thought it
was personal, but I should have seen it long ago.”