We did three main activities during this event. First, we presented each senior citizen with a gift – the plant that we took care of during our stewardship project. We brought clay pots for each plant and painted it with the senior citizens. Next, we presented the seniors with information and pictures that explained the history and traditions of the American Thanksgiving holiday. Finally (and best of all!), we served the seniors a sampling of traditional Thanksgiving foods; the turkey was made by the Morrison kitchen staff, but all the rest was made by our class.
One of the biggest things we learned on this visit is that the elders really like having people notice them, have real contact with them and do things with them. We began to see them as individuals (for example, some like to talk a lot and some don’t) and hear some of their stories. Many of us also learned how important, and difficult, it is to keep our energies focused outward, on others, rather than on ourselves.