MUSCATINE — With a good breakfast and a few books, the staff at Bickford hopes to spread the love to both Muscatine and Des Moines.
On Thursday, Feb. 13, Bickford Assisted Living and Memory Care, held a children’s book donation and breakfast event at their facilities.
“We do our Dine & Dash events periodically, for people to come in and grab breakfast on their way to work,” said Bickford Director Teresa Hafner, “but today we’re doing a Dine & Donate.”
Lindsay Stieger, the Assistant Director at Bickford, explained that this event was in recognition of Dane Pratt. Pratt is a cardiovascular perfusionist at MercyOne Hospital in Des Moines. While running various machines for the children in the pediatric intensive care unit, he also takes the time to read books to them.
When Stieger found the article sharing Pratt’s story on the KCRG website, she and Hafner decided to do what they could to help. “He was asking for book donations, so we thought we’d do a Dine & Donate so people could come in, donate a children’s book, grab some breakfast and go to work,” Hafner said.
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“We’ve been planning this event for about three weeks,” Stieger added, “This is kind of our first big marketing ‘get people into the building for a good cause’ event.”
For their breakfast, residents who stopped by could choose to have homemade breakfast burritos, donuts, fresh fruit and a drink of either hot chocolate, orange juice or coffee. There was also plenty of Valentine’s Day décor to bring even more spirit to this Acts of Love event.
“We’re pretty festive here around the holidays, so it worked out well,” said Hafner, “And of course, the residents here love seeing people come in to visit. It definitely brightens up their day.”
Even with the chilly weather and snow slowing things down a bit, the Dine & Donate event managed to collect 60 children’s books for Pratt’s efforts. To add to the festivities, Bickford is also planning on holding a Valentine’s Day dance for their residents this week.
“We’re doing really good things here, lots of fun activities going on,” Hafner continued “We’re enriching their happiness here, and we just want to fill the place up and just have a good time.” She added that it’s thanks to Bickford’s wonderful staff that they’re able to continue doing events and activities such as these.
With how successful Bickford’s first Dine & Donate was, the staff hopes to have more of them in the future, with the goal of doing one close to once a month. In addition, they will soon be holding fundraisers for the Alzheimer’s Association as well as the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and they hope to begin a monthly-meeting support group for Muscatine residents who are dealing with Alzheimer’s.
“Hopefully we’ll be getting those dates out soon once we get things rolling,” said Hafner, “There’s a lot of need for that type of support in Muscatine, and we’re ready to help with that.” Between helping their residents stay happy and doing what they can for the community, the staff at Bickford hopes to keep spreading love and support well past Valentine’s Day.