N.B. nursing home hoping to brighten community during uncertain times
Pine Grove Nursing Home in Fredericton, N.B. is trying to bring a little extra light during uncertain times.
"When it's so dark and dreary, and we just thought with COVID and everybody in a dark, dark place, maybe we could put a little spark of light into their every day lives,” said Mary Lou Stirling, Festival of Lights co-chair.
The nursing home's Festival of Lights will continue to shine this month after its 128 trees brought so much joy to the residents and community throughout the holiday season.
"Just looking out the window on a cold, snowy, wintry day not able to have visitors come in on a daily basis, they love the lights, they love the decorations, people coming and going and enjoying them from the community," said Cheryl Wiggins with Pine Grove Nursing Home.
Residents especially love seeing folks drive through the property at night admiring the many themes of each tree, which are decorated by volunteers.
"A couple of residents used to sit in the window every evening and they would count the cars go by until finally they got so many that their family got them counters and that was their evening activity,” Stirling said.
Not only is it a fun festive sight, it's also a fundraiser for the Pine Grove Foundation. Both individual sponsors and businesses light up the trees.
"In the last few years we have supplied chairs, double arm chairs, for the chapel, because some residents need extra support to get out of the chairs. We have provided adjustable tables," Stirling said.
One special tree has been continuously lit all year long since the last holiday season.
"We had anticipated we would be able to have the gentleman come back and take the lights down because COVID was going to be done and finished. Our tree is still lit today and we have just as much respect for the frontline workers,” Stirling said.
The tree was even lit by a special guest: Santa in a bucket truck came to string the lights on what they’ve deemed the “COVID Tree.”
Pine Grove Nursing Home will continue to light up its trees for the Festival of Lights until Jan. 31 to spread a little extra cheer.