Members of Fairfield University’s Student Nursing Association (SNA) warmed the hearts of senior rehab residents at The Jewish Home in Bridgeport, CT during a Winter Wonderland Formal on Monday, Dec. 4.
Hoping to spread holiday cheer and provide company for the residents, the volunteer group included 11 SNA board members, their advisor Cynthia Bautista, PhD, professor Jessica Planas, PhD, and her daughter Mila. Looking forward to a night of music and entertainment, these Fairfield staff members and students brought optimism and engaging personalities to The Jewish Home.
“SNA has not done this in the past,” said SNA President, Olivia Foye ’18. “This was something myself, Katherine Dowling ‘18 (Vice President) and Lilly Kemm ‘18 (Delegate Committee Chair) wanted to put in place during our final year on the board. We are hoping for this to be a larger event in the spring or even next year.”
Upon walking into the common room of The Jewish Home, residents were greeted with decorative blue wreaths, menorahs, and snowflakes. SNA members even wore blue and white to honor the Center’s Jewish affiliation, and the fast-approaching Hanukkah celebration.
About 10 residents and some staff members at The Jewish Home attended the Formal, where they gathered around the common room for games and dancing. SNA Chair of the Delegate Committee, Lilly Kemm ’18, explained that during the formal, guests played “Name that Song,” which led to singing and clapping along to the music.
“We are so happy to get involved in the community for the holidays. The residents were so thankful for our efforts. The experience was heartwarming and enjoyable for all,” said Kemm. “The residents were extremely grateful for our time there, and asked us when we would come back.”
Kemm explained that staff members had never seen residents so engaged in an event. The night was filled with residents asking students about their studies and life at Fairfield University. They also enjoyed reminiscing with SNA members about their own pasts.
“Our biggest takeaway is that this is something we must continue,” said Kemm. “We hope to have a Spring Fling this spring, and to continue visits in future years. It was uplifting to see the residents so excited about our presence. It truly shows how important it is to be a part of our nearby community and remain involved.”