WEST LA FEELING THE LOVE AND GIVING IT, TOO, AS COVID-19 CHANGES THE WAY WE CELEBRATE

Back in March, CalVet closed its eight Veterans Homes of California (VHC) to visitors in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19. Everyone involved knew this would be tough on the veteran residents, their families, and on staff members.

Which is why, on Sunday, staff and supporters of the VHC-West LA will offer personal Mother’s Day messages to bolster the spirits of female residents and mothers among the staff itself. The idea came from a rehabilitation therapist in the Home’s therapeutic activities division, and the video includes more than a dozen Mother’s Day greetings from all across the home. Meanwhile, the assistant hospital administrator recently reached out to singer/composer Neil Sedaka, who recorded three of his early “do-wop” songs and dedicated them to the veterans at the Home.

It’s why at the same Home, 300 staff members received gift bags containing hats, lanyards, t-shirts or pins from UCLA’s athletic department, small mementos from Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus transit system, and water flavoring packages from Liquid IV. The University Credit Union provided the actual bags, which come with a water bottle and stress-relief squeeze ball. These tokens of appreciation for the front-line workers go a long way toward keeping up morale.

Similar gestures graced the other Homes as well, as we have detailed in previous posts. These acts of kindness include people making and donating face masks for staff and residents. The donation of motivational buttons in VHC-Yountville. Michael Kennedy, a veteran resident at VHC-Barstow, handed out stuffed animals to staff at Easter, and will give out roughly 200 roses on Mother’s Day as well.

Young students wrote letters to the veterans at VHC-Chula Vista. The Elks Club donated hand-held electronic games to veterans at VHC-Fresno to help them pass the time. Additionally, business owners in Fresno, Ventura, and other Homes sent food to staff members.

Among the Mother’s Day celebrations, the veterans at VHC-Lancaster will enjoy a special Mother’s Day lunch and women veterans will receive roses grown in the Home’s garden.

CalVet and the staff at the Homes appreciate every gesture of kindness. When it benefits staff, it benefits the veterans. When good people step up to do good things during a crisis, it never comes as a surprise.

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