Community Corner

Sisters Collect 800 Christmas Cards For Nursing Home Residents

Three sisters have set out to bring some Christmas cheer to seniors who've spent a majority of 2020 isolated in nursing homes.

The Svec sisters from Mount Greenwood and Oak Lawn are collecting cards for residents in nursing homes and senior living facilities.
The Svec sisters from Mount Greenwood and Oak Lawn are collecting cards for residents in nursing homes and senior living facilities. (Courtesy of Brianna Svec)

CHICAGO — Three sisters have set out to bring some Christmas cheer to seniors in nursing homes and assisted living facilities who have spent most of 2020 in isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brianna and Melissa Svec, who live in Mount Greenwood, and their sister, Kayla Svec, of Oak Lawn, launched an initiative to collect a few cards to be delivered to residents living in senior living facilities and nursing homes.

"My sister Melissa is a social worker. She has a friend who works in two retirement homes," Brianna Svec said. "The residents haven't seen family and friends in nine months."

The Svec sisters reached out to neighborhood Facebook groups and their own social media networks. Then the cards started to pour in. Students at St. Catherine of Alexandria School in Oak Lawn, where Kayla taught school last year, made cards, as well as other teacher groups. There were store-bought cards with written messages, dollar scratch offs and crossword puzzle books.

"Everyone did something creative," Brianna said. "We even got cards from someone's dog, with a picture of the dog."

The most touching were the handmade cards from kids, including Christmas tree ornaments made from popsicle sticks.

The cards will be delivered this week to Chicago's Belhaven Nursing and Rehabilitation, Avantara of Evergreen Park, Beacon Hill Senior Living Center in Lombard, and Oak Trace Senior Living in Downers Grove.

The Svecs are still accepting cards. Email Brianna at brisvec@live.com to arrange a pickup. Additional cards received this week and they'll drop them off before New Year's Day. Brianna and her sisters want to collect cards for nursing home residents for other holidays.

"We just want these people to feel less alone and forgotten" Brianna said.

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