Act of Kindness: Singing at a Nursing Home

Our GUEST post is from Lorraine, a mother of four children.  I’ve known Lorraine since high school and you would hard pressed to find a more thoughtful person who always strives to help others around her.  Here she shares an experience of organizing and taking a group of children (the Primary) from her church congregation to sing to residents in a nursing facility.  Those children will remember their experience and remember how much fun they had with serving with their friends from church.

Note:  Make sure to note that she mentions doing this with her mother when she was a child.  It is important to serve with our children.  Serving with our children brings a lasting impact on them.

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 At the beginning of December, we invited our Primary children to give a “concert” for residents of a local assisted-living facility where a member of our ward (congregation) lives. We practiced for several weeks, and then told the kids what we were going to be doing. The first response from one of our older kids (8-11) was, “We have to sing at a nursing home again? I’ve already done that.” I took a few minutes to talk to the children about how lonely it can be for the elderly who have lived full lives and find themselves restricted by age and health later in life. It was an emotional “lecture” because I was remembering many, many visits with my family to sing at nursing homes. My mom organized most of our singing, and I’ve missed her a lot since she passed away last year.

The 8-12 year-old girls made Christmas cards to give out, and we asked the children and their teachers to come in nice Sunday dress. We made invitations from gift tags to remind families where and when to be on Saturday morning. We had about 30 children come, plus parents, siblings, and teachers. The kids were excited to sing and looked beautiful. After we sang several Primary Christmas songs, we ended with “Beautiful Savior,” and then the girls passed out their cards. There were enough for the residents to have two each, and it was sweet to see them smile, thank, and interact with the girls.

We invited everyone to sing “Jingle Bells” with us as Santa Claus made a surprise appearance and passed out candy canes. I was touched by how much it meant to the friend that lived there that we had come, and that she hadn’t been forgotten. Many children wanted to know if we can do it again next year. It took a lot of planning, coordinating, and reminding to get everyone there, but it was worth it to see the smiles from the residents and the kids.