My mother was one of the very first people in the United States to create and run a senior citizen’s center.  She kept that thing humming seven days a week with all kinds of activities: organ lessons, a kazoo band, Bingo, bus trips, rummage sales – you name it.

She was always asking me, “What more can we do!”  I always sat with my mouth open when she asked that question, because I couldn’t think of one more activity to stuff in her already jammed schedule.

During her forced retirement at age 93, she moved to a very small apartment in the city where I live.  The building had once been a motel, so you get the idea of how small the rooms were.  If you sat on the foot of the bed, you could watch the TV from about three feet away.  It was SMALL.

She had several clocks scattered about, and would go from one clock to another to check the time.  I imagine she thought she was in a jail cell.

Now I am 69, and I have seven clocks scattered around MY small apartment (larger than hers, thank goodness!).

Since 1999, I’ve lived in retirement apartments, and I know how anxious residents become about the mail.  As my mother would check her clocks, so to, will seniors check their mail several times a day.  For some, it is the only physical contact with the outside world days-on-end.  They even check on Sundays and holidays.

So I read the following commentary in my local newspaper with a tear in my eye.  The theme is the same – people needing people – but with a different twist.  Mark Saal is asking people who have a few extra seconds in their lives, to help make the lives of others just THAT much brighter.  He has challenged us to send a note, a postcard, or a letter to one group of strangers who will be THRILLED TO see your small gift.

The residents of St. Benedict’s Manor and at Developmental Training Systems Inc will be very grateful  Mark includes a DTSI mailing address for you.  He forgot the St. Benedicts’s address so I tacked that on the end.

Some day, you too, will be checking the time and the mail box.


Mail can make a stranger’s day – Standard Examiner, September 20, 2014

Just inside the door at St. Benedict’s Manor, a hospital-turned-low-income-apartments, is a bank of mailboxes for the residents there.

And right next to the mailboxes is a laminated placard, hanging from a string. On one side is a red sheet of construction paper with the words, “The mail is not in.” On the other side is a green sheet of construction paper that reads, “The mail is in.”

Each day, when the mail carrier arrives and delivers the mail, he or she flips the sign from red to green.

Clearly, the folks at St. Benedict’s Manor take their mail seriously. Observers say that, without the sign, residents would be at their mailboxes every 15 minutes or so, all day long, checking for mail.

Some of the residents there are developmentally disabled, and to them, something arriving in the mail is a highlight of their day.

The same is true at Developmental Training Systems Inc. . . . . They used to have a map on the wall at DTSI, and every time they’d receive another postcard from a staff or family member who was on vacation somewhere, they’d put it up in the appropriate area on the map.

Address your cards and letters to: Developmental Training Systems Inc., 433 S. Stewart Drive, Ogden, UT 84404.

(St. Benedict’s Manor, 3000 Polk, Ogden, UT 84403)

Complete article.



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