Care facility seeks groups to share faith, joy with residents

Sunday, May 2, 2021
Julana Bridges (L), activity director for Mark Twain Caring Center, and resident Ruth Prince, who is eager to resume on-site religious events.
DAR/Mark Sanders

Mark Twain Caring Center is offering churches and individuals the opportunity to spread faith, joy, and hope to their residents through outreach events.

The call is to bring a variety of religious activities, such as singing and music, Bible studies, devotional discussions, or worship services to residents at their Poplar Bluff facility.

Julana Bridges, activity director for Mark Twain, said that since some of the COVID-19 restrictions on visitation have been lifted, a real need for these activities is in strong demand.

“We had a small service on Good Friday,” Bridges said, “and the residents were so happy.”

“Since then, many of them have asked, ‘When are we going to get church back here?’”

Standard times available are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on the weekends from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The center is willing to be flexible in accommodating volunteers’ schedules.

Standard COVID risk screening is required, and all visitors must wear the masks provided at the entrance to the facility.

Residents will be brought by staff to the event location on site, where social distancing will still be maintained.

Anyone from any denomination, church, organization, or individuals are invited to share their faith and talents with the residents.

“This kind of activity is valuable for the social interaction,” Bridges said. “It helps to fight loneliness and depression, and it encourages residents to be more independent.”

Bridges said the facility is working to provide sound equipment for singing or speaking.

Musicians can bring in their own instruments, and the center also has a piano available.

Appointments for events must be made ahead of time. Anyone interested should call Julana Bridges at 573-686-6999.

She said that although a few people have made inquiries about taking part, nothing definite has been scheduled yet. This means that plenty of dates and times are available for those who want to help make a resident’s day more joyful.

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