Center residents help feed homeless

November 11, 1992|By Amy P. Ingram | Amy P. Ingram,Contributing Writer

Alice Fallon, a resident of the Crofton Convalescent Center, decided it was time for the facility to open its doors and become part of the outside community.

So she organized a program through her resident council meeting to buy, prepare and deliver food to the Lighthouse homeless shelter in Annapolis.

"If we decided to help other people," she said, "we wouldn't always feel sorry for ourselves."

Ms. Fallon, 81, said she was encouraged to begin a program to aid the homeless by television and radio reports. "Seeing that makes me feel bad," she said, "and then I think of how much people do for themselves and don't help others."

After presenting her idea to a very interested eight-member resident council last month, Mrs. Fallon promptly was made chairman of the newly approved Lighthouse Committee. The council also decided to make their "homeless agenda" a monthly event.

In preparation for their Lighthouse visit, council members sponsored several raffles and sought donations. After a month's work, the council had collected $120 in donations. On Wednesday, members delivered 40 turkey sandwiches and peanut butter sandwiches, plus doughnuts, bananas and raisins, to an appreciative shelter.

"Everyone was real enthusiastic and excited about helping the community." said Randy Schwartzberg, activity director of the center. "Finally, residents are more aware of what's going on outside the building."

Lilian Douglas, vice president of the Resident Council, said this type of community activity is good for the residents. "It's an activity that keeps us all young, because it makes us happy." Promised Ms. Douglas, 90, "I'll be a part of it every month."

Marien Duckett, 60, said she's helping out because of her need "to give back. It's important to me to help someone who's worse off than we are." she said.

Virginia Shea, a spokeswoman for the Lighthouse Shelter, said all donations are appreciated, especially because of the approaching holidays. "Donations are slightly less than they were last year." she said. "We depend solely on these kinds of volunteers."

Ms. Schwartzberg admits she is excited about the residents' "coming out" event.

"We've opened a door to the outside finally," Ms. Schwartzberg said. "It's time for us to reciprocate the help we get from outsiders."

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