While the Holiday season has passed, there are times when fond and fun memories from the season fill our hearts. The 4th Annual Rehab Auction held for our residents is one such fond and fun memory.
Our Elders look forward to this special holiday event that gives them an opportunity to bid on a fantastic array of items from blankets, socks and soaps to watches, shirts and coats. “The residents have a chance to win clothing that they need, jewelry, hygiene items, and gifts to give their family members for Christmas which makes them feel wonderful,” says Karen Edwards, a member of the physical therapy department who began this event four years ago.
Karen explained how the Rehab Auction came to life. “Four years ago my husband’s grandmother passed away leaving many new and gently used items behind. I decided to bring these items that were on their way to Goodwill to the residents of the nursing facility where I work. Most no longer have close family, but they are like a second family to me. I began to think of the basic things that our residents went without because they are no longer able to provide for themselves and purchase what they need. This is when I decided to plan something fun for them, a holiday auction.”
Karen receives only a few donations for the auction. The majority of the items are purchased by her with each resident in mind. With the help of colleagues and Elders the exciting atmosphere of an authentic auction is recreated in one of our dining rooms. Rehab patients spend time as a part of skilled therapy sessions making a decorating bidding paddles as well as hanging clothing and organizing the great variety of items for bidding. When the residents gather for the auction they are given their bidding paddle and $60 in play “money”.
The action is lively and “bidding wars” happen often. Thomas Hackney, an Elder in our home for nearly 2 years stated, “The auction was awesome. Everyone had a good time. It is nice for the members of the rehabilitation department to do that for us.” Another resident, Nancy Clark, exclaimed, “Oh it was fun filled and I won a lot of stuff to give as Christmas presents.”
Karen looks forward to continuing to host the auction. She is grateful to her colleagues in the rehab department who helped her transform a crazy idea into a fun tradition.