Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Spring Concert

J, Mom, D and A

On Monday March 31st the home school kids at our church gave a concert for The Club. The Club is a respite care program for adults with memory impairment. It gives their caregivers a chance to go to appointments, run errands or just catch their breath. God bless this ministry! There was nothing like this available, at any cost, when my Grandma Johnson had Alzheimer's. Being a caregiver is exhausting. When you add to it the grief and weariness of caring for someone you dearly love who no longer knows your name, it can feel unbearable!
One of the things I really love about our church is that "community" is not just the name! They really are involved in the community in lots of ways - some very visible and some behind the scenes. In addition to this ministry there is an affordable childcare service for before and after school and school breaks/summer and a new low cost preschool. We live in a low income area and these services are really vital.
When we were asked to participate, I was delighted. I have long had a heart for the elderly and those who are "special needs". How fun to do something that would brighten someone else's day as well as teach and train my children. I was really surprised at how well they paid attention when it was their turn to sing... except A who turned around and sang to the other families instead of the Club clients! LOL Mom was there to help J who is extremely shy. They sang Jesus Loves Me and a couple verses of Holy, Holy, Holy, which is one of their favorites!
I didn't include other pictures in the post because I don't post children's pictures without parental permission, but there is a lot of amazing talent in our young people! Several girls have lovely voices, there are some great budding pianists, a poem was read and one beautiful young lady has quite a talent making balloon animals!

After the concert and before the lunch we shared with everyone, there was exercise time. I don't know who this lady is, but she is good at her job and handled the kids so kindly, just going with the flow. J was crying because she got pushed out of a seat so the lady invited her up to sit on the piano bench. A then followed suit, because where one goes, there is the other! :o) I was surprised that J went because the whole thing with all the people was very overwhelming for her and several times I had to hold her and comfort her. But she responds well to kindness and individual attention and liked this lady. In this picture she is showing how to use the dynamic bands.

This picture shows the whole group of children. The adult clients were sitting in wheel chairs and chairs behind them.

Continuing with exercises!

The lady leading exercises asked the children to give ideas of what they wanted to do next for exercises. Most of the kids came up with great ideas, but had no awareness of how this might effect those in wheel chairs, using walkers and having limited mobility! :o) We all laughed when one girl suggested jumping jacks. The leader never missed a beat or made the girl feel silly. She just said, "Sure, show us" and the kids did jumping jacks and the leader used adaptive hand movements that could be done in from a chair.

After exercising, everyone enjoyed a nice lunch together and it was a really fun day. I hope we have opportunity to do this again.


Heather said...

What a great ministry! We ALL need eachother so much and so often those with extra needs are forgotten. Kids are so great at ministering! We sure could learn a lot from them.
Thanks Theresa for this post!

Carissa said...

The kids look like they had a really good time. What a blessing to the patients and caregivers!

Wool Winder said...

Children have a way of making everyone's day brighter. I'm sure the members of the The Club enjoyed the entertainment.

Lynette said...

I glad I stopped by that day. It was fun to sit back & watch the kids perform! All the kids did very well!