Resident Spotlights

Sharing the Love


Their favorite day of the month is, unanimously, the one on which Eva Dunn’s
grandchildren deliver handmade gifts.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 17-year old Mary Fredericksen and her
three cousins, 16-year old Mikey and 17-year old Mark and Clair Sollenberger,
have been making loving care packages for each of the 65 residents of Willows
Assisted Living and Reflections Memory Support at GreenFields of Geneva senior
living community. The teens are all students at St. Charles North
High School.

Eva Dunn has been a resident of GreenFields for approximately 18 months. “She
tried a temporary stay, and within a week was hooked. She loved it, so when an
apartment became available, we swooped in,” said Colleen Sollenberger, Eva’s
daughter. “She’s so happy at GreenFields. Everyone is so nice to her. They
leave her sweet notes and tell her they love her. They talk and laugh, and
she’s just so happy. We can’t ask for anything more.”

“We’re a tight-knit family, and there’s a lot of love in our family,” said
Eva’s daughter, Rose Fredericksen. “She’s the matriarch of the family, and the
atmosphere at GreenFields fits her own values and morals. So it’s like family
to her.”

With Eva’s families living close to the retirement community, they have been
accustomed to visiting often. When visitors were prohibited because of
COVID-19, the families were sad not to be able to see her in person but
considered themselves fortunate that they could still have window visits.
“It’s harder for the residents who live on the higher floors,”
said Clair.

“The isolation was hard for everyone. It was especially difficult for families
who aren’t able to visit as often as we’re able to,” said Mary. “We wanted to
do something so that everyone feels some love at a really hard time. We
decided we wanted to be family for everyone.”

Each month, the teens come up with an idea for a gift that they can make for
all of the residents. “We talk about it, and we look on Pinterest. It’s fun to
look stuff up and brainstorm and listen to everyone’s ideas. Everyone’s little
ideas add up to make a big one,” said Mary. Gifts have included a pipe cleaner
dragon magnet, candy ‘hugs and kisses’, mini painted jack o’ lanterns, and
more. “We always go visit our grandma before we deliver the gifts and give her
a sneak peek. She lights up, and it warms our hearts. She says, ‘everyone is
going to love this.’ She’s excited for everyone,” said Mary.

Colleen is justifiably proud of the magnanimous teens. “They’re great kids.
They are kind and smart. We feel fortunate and blessed that they’re really
good kids.”

Rose added, “They’re close to their grandmother and have a lot of empathy for
that generation and what’s happening in terms of their isolation. That
spearheaded their drive to reach out.”

Julie Jug, life enrichment manager at GreenFields, said, “Every month, we are
pleasantly surprised by the creative and generous treats Eva’s family provides
the residents. I wish they could see how happy the residents are
when we go room to room with these treats. They spread so much
love, and joy and the residents’ smiles say it all! We are so
appreciative of this gesture, and its effects are priceless. We
thank them for all the love they send each month!”

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