At Newton Presbyterian Manor, there is independent living, assisted living and healthcare. During this difficult year, there’s also…music. Executive Director Marc Kessinger explains.
“The Corona Carolers started off probably in March of this year, just walking the sidewalks in a prayer group. And they asked if they could start singing through the windows. They’re just a tremendous group of ladies. They’ve got heart, they’re compassionate, and we appreciate them.”
Eldon Fike is one of the residents. He says, “They come and they tap on the window, get your attention. And then they just start singing hymns. They change around, they’re not always exactly the same hymns unless they know somebody likes a certain hymn. It’s great.”
The carolers are having an impact. Riley Rodriguez is the life enrichment assistant at Newton Presbyterian. “One of the main ladies that started the group, Jacque Wedel, she would volunteer her time on Wednesdays to come sing hymns,” she says. Sometimes the carolers bring neighborhood kids along. “I actually had one of my residents that became pen pals with the kid. So every week when they would come to sing, they would get a hold of me and drop off a note, I would help the resident write a pen pal note back and forth. So that was neat because they not only get to hear them sing, but they get to build relationships with them.”
Kessinger says, “They’re strong, compassionate ladies with a lot of caring in their hearts. The benefit to our residents is immense.”