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Shawnee community helps Golden Rule Home residents

Elisabeth Slay
Several children in the community have sent pictures and letters to the residents of Golden Rule Home.

Despite not being able to see visitors because of COVID-19 concerns, residents of The Golden Rule Home in Shawnee have received pictures, letters and other items from their families and members of the community who want to encourage them during this difficult time.

According to Golden Rule Home Administrator Gwyn Gilkeson, the community has been very helpful to the residents by sending them several different items they both cherish and need.

"We have received homemade face masks, pictures, Depends and toiletries from our community. Bethel Acres and Shawnee have stepped up to help the most vulnerable population," Gilkeson said.

The administrator explained The Golden Rule Home reached out to the public on its Facebook page and asked for students in Shawnee and surrounding areas to send in drawings to residents.

The response, Gilkeson said, was overwhelming and the facility continues to receive pictures and other items.

According to resident Mary Ann Cordell, she and her fellow residents have enjoyed getting the pictures and other items from students and other community members.

"These kids are caring about us and making sure we know we are not forgotten," Cordell said.

Gilkeson said the staff members at Golden Rule Home are doing everything they can to maintain social distancing and keep the residents safe from COVID-19.

The administrator explained those who work at the facility are limiting their outings to ensure they aren't exposed to the virus.

"Most of us go to work and then go home. We are helping our staff do call in orders for groceries and food to limit their exposure risk," Gilkeson said. "We have also stopped our visits with our own families so that we don't put our residents at risk."

Gilkeson said while families cannot be in the same room as a resident, the facility has done all they can to ensure residents and their families can still see and talk to one another.

"We are doing FaceTime, Skype, and other video calling apps to keep our residents and their families in touch through this," Gilkeson said.

According to resident Tammy A., the staff have done a wonderful job keeping her and other residents safe and she appreciates the support of the community.

"We are scared, but know that the staff are doing all they can to protect us from this thing. Knowing that the community is behind us is great," Tammy said.

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