Visits to seniors and others and respite care: Many seniors who are homebound or live in senior residences have little or no visitors, including their families. Some families visit their seniors regularly but the ministry has found out that the majority of seniors are basically forgotten by their loved ones. Volunteers who would like to make the life of a senior or another person happier and less lonely are matched up with seniors or others who would like a visitor. Seniors just love seeing children on these visits as well. Volunteers visit the senior where they live, either at a residential of private home. The hope is that the relationships between the visitor(s) and those being visited will grow into one inspired by the Holy Spirit. People may also volunteer to give short-term respite care for caregivers (e.g., for wife with disabled husband..
Cards to seniors, families and others: Everyone enjoys receiving cards, notes and/or children’s pictures of compassion and love, especially lonely seniors. Volunteers send cards monthly or hopefully more frequently to however many people they requested be assigned to them. Card senders are asked to include minimally their name and contact information, only if they agree that card receivers, if able, can thank them. We ask card senders, if they agree, to visit their card receivers once to let them know who is sending them cards. In addition, children from day school or religious education classes both at Holy Cross and other parishes send cards as a group to seniors.
Assistance to families, seniors and others: From time to time our ministry is asked to help a family, a senior or other people in need. When this occurs, their needs are put in the bulletin for at least two weeks as well as mailed to a very large-distribution list. Some of the needs have included but are not limited to companship, house cleaning, clothes, gift cards, lawn care and other yard work, shopping and other errands, and sometimes monetary assistance. (Comment: Our ministry works with St. Vincent dePaul as well as other resources when the need arises.)
Rosary Crusade: Daily decades of the Rosary for people in need: The purpose of this new ministry is twofold. First, it has people praying the Rosary for specific people in need of prayers and second, it encourages volun- teers to pray the Rosary regularly just as our Blessed Mother has requested. The Rosary Crusade is divided into groups of 20 people each. When a group is given a specific people for whom to pray, each person in that group prays one specific decade of the Rosary every day for 20 days for that person. Thus, each day a complete Rosaries (4 mysteries and 20 decades) are said for the person. After the 20-day period, 20 complete Rosaries have been said for the person. A Rosary Crusade is made for a person needing prayers for any reason, with the request for prayers made either by the person, a relative or a friend. Goal: To have a majority of Holy Cross parishioners praying minimally one decade of the Ro- sary each day for people in need. Needs: Many more people involved.
Crafts/Games/Bingo at Batavia Rehab: Description: In November 2008, a small group of Enriching Lives Ministry volunteers began visiting with the residents of Batavia Rehabilitation Center to share conversation and social time. Thistask group remains vibrant and schedules about six to eight visits per year. The volunteers are dedicated to bringing smiles to their participants with bingo, crafts and snacks. Visits usually occur before an upcoming holiday, adding theme to planned activities. The residents have created their own placemats for holiday meals along with door-hangers and flower pots. In addition to playing bingo and making crafts, the volunteers and the residents have been abig part in supplying writing materials and thank-you/prayer cards to our local soldiers stationed overseas. We coordinate with the Batavia VFW before Christmas and contribute to their holiday mailings. We have also had the opportunity to include a group of young helpers, who have lent energy to our Saturday visits. This group of volunteers is led by Linda Crockett. Needs: Volunteers, including children, are needed to help the second group initiate its efforts. Comment: The committee is always eager to welcome new volunteers and ideas. Donations for bingo prizes can also be accepted by any of either group’s volunteers.
Rides to Mass and other activities for seniors in the Holy Cross bus or in private cars: Seniors from Heritage Woods and Holmstad are taken to and from 4:15 PM Mass on Saturdays and 9:45 AM Mass on Sundays, respectively, on the Holy Cross bus. As of August 7th, seniors from Batavia Rehab will also be taken to and from 9:45AM Mass on Sundays. In addition, seniors not living at either of these residences are taken to Mass in private cars. Senior Luncheon: Ten months per year, usually on the fourth Friday of the month, seniors from Heritage Woods, primarily, and Holmstad are taken to the Holy Cross Senior Luncheon then brought back to their residences on the Holy Cross bus. Volunteers assist seniors on and off the bus, and into the church basement. Batavia Rehab seniors are brought to the luncheon in their van. The seniors enjoy food, games and entertainment. Other Activities: From time to time the Holy Cross bus is used for other senior activities such as the annual Holy Cross School “Senior Appreciation Luncheon” and outings such as visits to Catigny Park in Wheaton and the flower gardens and zoo in Aurora.