6 April

Return To The Mansion: A Rebirth Wish List and Make-Over Mornings. We Can Send Stuff Again!

by Jon Katz

Zinnia and I had a joyous and loving return to the Mansion yesterday. Some of my friends were gone, most were waiting, we shed a few tears together.

It was wonderful to be back, the Mansion is a part of me, and it was missing. I had been getting things for people I’d never seen, and meeting them – they are so grateful – was magical.

There is a stringent new protocol for entering the building. But the good news is that we can send things again, everyone can participate.

I have to be tested each time, have my shoes sprayed and the temperature was taken. I returned to one of my favorite duties, the weekly return; only half of the former group are allowed at one time – 6 residents.

It was an emotional reunion. There was almost as much excitement about my return as there was for Zinnia’s

Zinnia was amazing.  She greeted everyone affectionately and quietly. She gives everyone a gentle lick on the hand or the chin, then wags her tail and goes to sleep once I start talking.

I was greeted with some needs for belts and sneakers, and shirts.

The Mansion is desperately in need of cloth placemats; I bought $200 worth on Amazon, but if you have any nice ones in excellent condition, please send them to The Mansion, 11 S. Union Avenue, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816.

They requested all that they can get.

Julia, the Activities Director put up a new Spring Wish List This Afternoon,  the first in more than a year. It is modest and simple, as always.

10 items are ranging from $6.95 to $47.49. The residents have had a long and difficult year. Spring is a rebirth for them.

The list has Fourth of July flag toppers $6.59, a Herbal and Decaf Tea Samper $17.95, stamp pads, body wash, Mason Jars, and Plastic Flower Pots, along with party lunch napkins and other planting tools for summer. You can see the new Wish List here. 

If feels good to do good.

The residents are now just beginning to get outside. Please check out the Wish List and see if you might like to get the residents. It is, I think, a celebration of rebirth.

On another Mansion front,  Tania Woodward, an especially creative Mansion aide, took it upon herself to brighten the resident’s spirits recently by scheduling “makeover” days with them.

She realized that by styling their hair, makeup and nails, she brought much joy and laughter to the Mansion. The idea was a huge lift.

“With all the lovely people on your blog,” she wrote, “could you see if any of them, while spring cleaning, are looking to get rid of hair, makeup, and nail items so I can continue to do this for the residents? Let me tell you; there were great big smiles on all their faces!”

Above, Julie Before The Makeover, Below, Julie Right After

I purchased 100 dollars of nail, hair, and makeover supplies, but if you wish to buy more make-over supplies or have any leftover items, please consider sending them to The Mansion, c/o Tania, 11 S. Union Avenue, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816.

They make a huge difference; just mentioning the makeover brings smiles and the chance for the residents to feel good about themselves after being isolated for more than a year.

These would include nail files, polish remover, make-up kits, nail polish colors. Below, Julie, a Mansion resident, volunteered to pose befoe and after one of Tania’s morning makeovers.

Thanks for your help. We can send things to the residents again (we can’t overdo it.)  I’ll be in touch when I learn more from being inside.

Thanks so much.

P.S. I gave the Mansion Fund a good workout today – placemats, make-up, Spring garden, and arts and crafts supplies, and I’ve been asked if I could possibly purchase 7 hanging flower baskets to hand on the porch in May. I agreed to do it.

That alone will cost about $300.

Today’s expenditures will top $600, they’ve been pent up a while. I’m also buying meditation necklaces as my mediation classes resume. There was also an urgent call Friday for hand lotions shampoo and conditioner. The residents were just about all out.

If you can and wish to bring the Mansion Fund to full health, you can send a donation to me via Paypal, [email protected], or Venmo, [email protected] You can also send a donation in any amount to the Mansion Fund, P.O. Box 205, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816.

The world is opening up, and so is the Mansion.

Donations are welcome in any amount, small or large.


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