The weather outside may be frightful for many people across the country after a major snowstorm plowed the Midwest and Northeast over the weekend — potentially impacting more than 100 million people.
But the snow has been a delightful sight for residents at a Minnesota nursing home thanks to the creativity of local high school seniors.
About two dozen students from the Cloquet High School National Honor Society stopped by the Sunnyside Health Care Center this month to create snowmen and snow sculptures for residents to enjoy. Sunnyside is a 44-bed long-term care facility located inside the Community Memorial Hospital in Cloquet, MN.
The students’ visit to the facility was sparked after a co-worker told hospital volunteer coordinator Deanna Johnson about the National Honor Society’s trouble finding community volunteer projects due to the ongoing public health crisis. She reached out to the group’s advisor about volunteering at the facility.
“It’s winter time and I thought it would be great to do something for the nursing home residents,” Johnson told McKnight’s Long-Term Care News on Wednesday. “[Sunnyside] still doesn’t have volunteers in the nursing home at this point, so I thought why not ask students to come, be creative and make whatever they can out the windows of where the residents live to put a smile on their faces.”
A couple of days before the students visited, the area was hit with a snowstorm, but it was about 30 degrees the day they arrived, according to Johnson. She said that the snow at the time wasn’t “snowman-making weather,” but students responded to the challenge anyway, packing the snow to create several sculptures for residents to see.
The students wound up making snowmen, a sea turtle, a fish, a loon and dinosaurs.
“They did a great job. They worked really well with what we were given for weather that day,” she said. “We had 21 students come, which surpassed my expectations.”
The residents were beaming when they saw the students’ creations.
“It was great to see them smiling and just to know that we do care about them,” she said. “It’s something different for them to look out the window and see.”
And a great reason to sing out, “Let it snow!”