The Sunny Day
We welcome one and all to The Sunny Day, for September, October, November and December 2019.
Have we got a lot to share with you!
The beginning of the new fiscal year brought us a new Director named Marilyn Murphy, who started on the 1st of July 2019. We also began working with the SER program, which stands for Senior Community Service Employment Program. They work with people 55 and older. We hire them to work for us, and the SER program pays their wages. They can work with a place for four years. From the SER program we got two workers, Michael and Alton. We also have a volunteer named Maggi.
September brought us volunteers through the United Way’s Nancy Perry Day of Caring. We had renovations done in September 2019. We had a broken hallway wall fixed by volunteers from Evergy, who built up and plastered and painted our wall. We also had about 500 burritos made by people from Capitol Federal Savings & Loan. They made them for our Burrito Sale, which we had on October 11th. We also sold burritos at Faith Lutheran Church.
We had ten people pre-register for our Nutrition class with the K-STATE SNAP education program. Our teacher was Brenda Jarboe, and she came every Wednesday afternoon for 6 weeks. We learned all sorts of things, from food safety to budgeting. She also brought samples of the recipes we were learning about.
Also, we began having Chaplain Sharon Highberger come on Fridays to do a “spirituality group” of her own. Many of our members were very interested in it. She asked the members who wanted to participate in it what they wanted to learn or talk about. Also, we had the Angels Health Network come to take blood pressure and answer health questions. They did door prizes and handed out candy too.
Then, on Halloween, from 8am to 3pm, we had few of our members dress up. Members dressed up as: two different wolves, a car accident victim, a casino employee, a clown and two gangsters. We had a contest to see which of the crazy characters people had dressed up as would win. We also had a mummy wrapping contest, as well as arts and crafts, and we had some yummy Chex mix and punch. Our costume contest winners were 1st place: Accident Victim, 2nd place Gangster (who decided to give her win to one of the wolves) and 3rd place was the clown. We also played Bingo and celebrated the birthdays.
In November we continued the Chaplain and Nutrition Class as well as Angel’s Network. We also prepared for our grand Thanksgiving party. The party was on the 22nd. We had eleven tables set up, and every chair we could find in our building to seat all our guests, including two from KDADS (Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services). We also had a member come who we hadn’t seen in a while.
We had delicious desserts and all the fixings, stuffing and turkey, potatoes and pies. Casseroles, both sweet potato with marshmallows and green bean casserole. We also had gravy. Now the staff is preparing to share Thanksgiving with their families.
On December 13th we had a wonderful Christmas. We are grateful that The Faith Lutheran Church in Topeka let us use their building at SW 17th and Gage and put us on their Christmas gift list again last year. The Sunshine connection always makes Christmas one of its big events.
The Christmas party was decorated with red and green balloons, crepe paper, tablecloths and table decorations of glittery Christmas trees. We also brought a small white Christmas tree and decorated it with colorful lights and ornaments. There were paper candy cane decorations on the doors, and we wrapped the poles with crepe paper. We also set out our homemade Nativity scene we did in an arts and crafts group, which we made from Styrofoam balls, plastic cups and scrapbook paper.
For the balloons, we used a helium machine and blew them up and tied them to balloon weights with red and green ribbons and rolled silverware in red and green napkins. We had people making sweet potato casserole and pistachio, marshmallow pineapple dessert salad. We had meat trays with cheese, veggie trays and chips and crackers. There were also cookies and chocolates including cheesecake bites. The activities that were offered were a funny game called The Penguin Waddle, which involved two people who try to walk with a balloon between their legs. One person had trouble keeping the balloon from slipping down. It ended up statically clinging to the back of their pants.
Other activities included The Human Christmas Tree, which is exactly what it sounds like. We cut out paper decorations including Christmas lights, angels and stars. We used tape and taped them to the members’ clothing and foreheads. There was also Find the Reindeer, as well as coloring sheets, and we sang Christmas carols and socialized, of course.
Dinner included rolls, green beans, mashed potatoes and ham, as well as tea and water to drink. After the meal, Santa came and called out names of the people who had presents from Faith Lutheran Church members. Then they also passed out pairs of socks stuffed with various treats and hygiene items. Then the church youth group held their annual Christmas store in the back of the room with items our members could pick from, and the youth would wrap up for our members to give to loved ones.
While they were waiting for a ride home, we sang some more Christmas carols. Some of the staff sported some really silly costumes. Cara, our Activity Director, was quite a sight with her light-up earrings necklace and nose. Her antlers were sparkly, too. Marilyn, the Director, wore huge, light-up, blue eyeglasses. All in all, the party was another success.
She has been coming to Sunshine since 2010. She struggled for many years with trust and feeling like there were people whom she could feel were sincerely wanting to help her. She didn’t feel like anyone really cared about her. She lost her mother five years ago and has been struggling to maintain her independence and with her resources that have helped her to do that with daily struggles such as these she was mad at the world.
Sunshine has changed that for her. She has found many people who have been able and willing to help her with her needs, both inwardly with peer support and outwardly with food and clothes and advocacy. She was shocked to learn that people really care about her. It finally broke through her protective shell she had. Sunshine has helped her come out and see there is a different view to the world.