When asked if he would do it again, Zach Hanson responded with an enthusiastic "Yeah!"
On Monday the member of the Boy Scouts of America Troop 163 delivered cards to the residents of Ave Maria Village. The facility is one of Jamestown's nursing homes and a place that has felt some repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic.
"We know (the residents) can't have visitors so we wanted to make them feel like they are not forgotten," Zach said. "I think it went well. I just hope they all got them."
The troop, comprised of 12- to 17-year-olds, made more than 100 cards to give to the residents isolated by the coronavirus pandemic. At this time residents can still receive mail from the public and can also be contacted technologically. Currently, Ave Maria Village has restricted the building to essential staff.
Due to the pandemic, the troop has been unable to meet at its scheduled time in the basement of Trinity Lutheran Church. The change in routine has forced the Scouts to find new ways to serve the community.
"They are putting their thinking caps on and thinking of some other things they might be able to do. With the isolation, we are really restricted but I would not be surprised if another Scout comes up with another idea," said Zach's mother, Diane. "We just feel fortunate that we have three strong Boy Scouts troops in Jamestown," "The Boy Scouts really do add a lot of flavor to our community. They are really committed to doing community work and that is a good thing.
Logan Motter, son of Troop 163 leaders Aaron and Elsie Motter, had the idea of delivering cards in lieu of attending scheduled Scout meetings. Zach took charge and made 20 cards for the residents. Five of the other 16 Scouts in the troop each contributed approximately 20 cards to distribute throughout the nursing home.
"They didn't want to go out to the stores and buy cards because we are asked to stay at home," Diane said. "(So we) made them at home. We either used cards that we had on hand and then some of the Scouts made homemade cards from construction paper and stickers and they really did put some work into it."
It's a project that has taken Zach some time to accomplish.
"For me, I've been doing it for about two weeks," Zach said. "I want to do it again, probably (at) another nursing home because it makes people feel good."
Each of the Scout left cards outside for Zach to pick up and deliver to the nursing home. Zach passed along the cards to an Ave Maria employee to distribute to all of the nursing home residents. It was not just the elderly the Scouts helped to make feel a little lighter.
"On the nursing home side, they have 100 residents so we decided (100 cards) would be our goal," Diane said. "Then we wrote 10 more for the staff that works over there. We just let them know we were thinking about them and with them in spirit. We know this is a hard time because they are isolated but that we will get through this lull together."
Ave Maria Village Activities Director Peggy Widmer said the letters and gifts from the community and other communities brighten the faces and spirits of the residents in the facility.
"When the residents get something like this they just beam," Widmer said. "They love it, they get a smile on their face. They get excited when they get something. Now, especially if I tell them, 'this is from the Boy Scouts troops and this is what they did for us' that means a lot to them. Knowing it's a homemade card and not a boughten card means a lot to them as well."