Armstrong’s Heaton Place Retirement Community was in need of masks and North Okanagan communities answered, resident relations coordinator Carrie O’Neill said May 26, 2020. (Heaton Place)

Armstrong retirement home overwhelmed with kindness amid COVID-19

A need of masks resulted in an outpouring of kindness from North Okanagan communities

Kindness and compassion come in many different forms: making room in your heart and your life for a new friend, doing something nice for someone without being asked, taking time to listen to someone who may need to vent, and acknowledging another’s efforts or accomplishments are all acts that Heaton Place Retirement Community resident relations coordinator Carrie O’Neill sees daily.

Studies show that being kind and even observing kindness can create a ripple effect of happiness. Most recently, O’Neill witnessed a ‘snowball’ effect of kind acts pouring in from the community and surrounding areas.

On Thursday, May 14, an email came in from Vernon Morning Star reporter Brendan Shykora, O’Neill said.

“Brendan was the young man who went above and beyond to have our three Second World War Veterans voices’ heard this past November through sharing their stories,” she said.

This is where the first act of kindness started.

“Little did we know that it would snowball into many acts of kindness,” O’Neill said.

Shykora was inquiring into how Heaton Place residents were fairing during COVID-19 times and wondered if there was anything the residents needed.

“I simply replied that we are looking for masks for all of our seniors to have as we slowly transition into a ‘new normal,’” O’Neill said.

“By the end of the day, I received a phone call from a lady in Summerland that informed me she saw our ad that we were looking for masks and she was a part of a quilters club and would be putting 35 masks into the mail immediately!”

“I had no idea Brendan had put a shout out with the Vernon Morning Star on behalf of Heaton Place!”

Since then, the phones have been ringing and the masks are pouring in, O’Neill said.

“There are angels among us! Summerland, Kamloops, Vernon, Armstrong are but a few places that these angels live. Many thanks to you all!”

Despite the challenges that have come from COVID-19, there have been many positives, O’Neill said.

As we begin to slowly transition to open things up, Heaton Place is now able to do tours and have those who wish to move in do so with strict protocols in place.

Heaton Place has recently been given the gift of a moving company working closely and solely with the retirement community.

“Sherlock Moving has been outstanding in adhering to strict protocols, while at the same time bringing their compassionate and humorous personalities into the facility while conducting quick and effective work,” O’Neill said.

The Armstrong community continues to show up in anonymous ways, she said.

“We have painted rocks with hearts and positive quotes all around our building. Our Heaton hair stylists, despite not being able to work, came by with a banner saying ‘we love you’, and the families of our residents are stopping by to say thank you with chocolates.”

“The work we do here at Heaton Place is a gift to each of us,” O’Neill said. “What we give to our residents always comes back in abundance. Maya Angelou says it best, ‘I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.’”

This article was contributed to the Morning Star from Heaton Place Retirement Community resident relations coordinator Carrie O’Neill.

READ MORE: Tagging Suicide Hill in Vernon in lieu of grad party?

READ MORE: Armstrong retirement community reflects on self-isolating amid coronavirus


@VernonNews
newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Single lane traffic for Bella Vista in Vernon next week

Work planned for Monday, Wednesday to complete utility installation

Lake Country traffic bottleneck solution still lacks funding

No money committed yet but province will unveil solution options for Highway 97- Beaver Lake Road-Glenmore Road intersection this fall

COVID-19: Vernon Towne Cinema back in action!

Movie lovers rejoice, the historic theatre has reopened with safety protocols in place

Former Vernon Viper recognized for ALS fundraising

Coldstream’s Aaron Volpatti raised more than $27,000 competing in an Ironman triathlon last summer

Vernon shutterbugs capture rainbow

A rain event July 9 made way for a glorious sight

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

COVID-19 cases identified in Kelowna, after public gatherings

Those who were downtown or at the waterfront from June 25 to July 6 maybe have been exposed to COVID-19.

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Summerland Blossom Youth Ambassador Program to hold coronation

Event will be held by video as a result of COVID-19 precautions

Pooch abandoned at Penticton doggy daycare suffered from oral disease

A fundraiser for Okie held by the BC SPCA surpassed its goal of $1,700

Couple shaken up after homophobic encounter at Kelowna mall

‘We’re not in the States; we’re not in some little hick town; we’re in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. And it still happens’

Summerland to allow in-person attendance at July 13 council meetings

Two meetings will be held at Summerland Arena Banquet Room to accommodate public

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

Most Read