2 December

Mansion Christmas Taking Shape: Now, The Children

by Jon Katz

I had this idea today: we need to support a new Mansion Aides Children’s Amazon Wish List for Christmas, just as we did for the parents and teachers at Bishop Maginn High School. The Mansion Director has agreed, and it will be up sometime in the next few days.

I learned of some aides who are struggling to get toys and gifts for their kids this year, as they did last year.

As the holiday approaches, I’ve been more and more aware of the financial struggles of the Mansion staff, many of whom are single mothers with small children.  I’m getting Wal-Mart gift cards for each one, but I’ve also suggested that the aides collect a list of the things their kids want, we can help them have a great Christmas.

I’ll write more about that in a few days, or whenever the Wish List is complete.

Our days’ old snowstorm took time off for lunch Monday, and Fate and I rushed over to the Mansion (after digging out my car)  to visit the snowbound residents. Holidays are a rough time, to begin with, snowstorms and gray, cold days don’t help.

This was my good work today.

Fate and I went to the Memory Care Center to visit Jean, who clapped for joy when she saw Fate.

I was told Jean’s been down this week. Fate did an excellent job loving and letting herself be touched and hugged. She lifted Jean right up (see photo above).

The Mansion Christmas Project is going well.

First, every resident who needs warm hats, shoes, shirts, pants, pajamas, nightrobes, or jackets has them.  Special thanks to Carroll’s Trading Post, a vibrant consignment store in my town of Cambridge, N.Y.

We also got a bunch of hairbrushes and books and CD’s for the holidays. I try to track down any book a Mansion resident asks for, some our quite old and require some digging. So far, I’m batting 100 per cent.

Then, the Mansion breakroom is waiting for an electrician to put in a baseboard heater. We hope to be up and running for Christmas. I don’t need any more funds; I had enough to get the breakroom a table and chairs, a soft chair, a small refrigerator, some wall art, and tea and coffeemakers.

Thanks for supporting this project, it will make a huge difference to the staff, who often have to go out to their cards to eat lunch or dinner.

We’ve purchased more than $100 in new LED lights and other decorations to brighten up the Mansion Christmas decorations and tree; they were getting old and worn. I had enough money to do that.

I’m getting $50 gift cards from Wal-Mart for the 18 Mansion aides, many of whom are pressed financially. I have enough money for the gift cards now, thank you.

I’m always collecting money for new clothes as the winter progresses, and new residents arrive, and also to give to the poorest residents so they can buy small gifts for their friends or for the aides who help them.

When the Wish List for the aides children is assembled, I will write about it and support it on the blog; I don’t need to collect any money for that.

If any members of the Army of Good don’t like going online or using Amazon, or if you want to add to the clothes fund or other projects, you can donate to me via Paypal, jon@bedlamfarm.com or by check, Jon Katz, Mansion Fund, P.O. Box 205, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816.

I’ll give the money for the aides’ children directly to Kassi, the Mansion Director; she can distribute it as she sees fit.

People can purchase the requested toys and gifts on the Wish List when it comes out and have the presents shipped directly to the Mansion. These will all be presents the children want and hope for.

I’ll offer detailed instructions. That will be so appreciated. I love thinking of the kids getting their Christmas.

Cards and stocking stuffers will also be appreciated. You can send them to the Mansion Residents, 11 S.  Union Avenue, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816.

The residents love to get photos and cards, even if they can’t answer them.

I’m glad the Mansion is going ahead with the Wish List. I see our work at the Mansion being two-fold. Helping the residents and helping good people who care for them. One supports the other.

I believe the aides deserve recognition and support for the work they do and the love and care they bring with them.  It is grueling work and never seems to pay well. Thanks for helping out, I’m excited about the Mansion Christmas for 2019 and very grateful for your support.

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