Spreading Cheer and Appreciation in an Uncertain Time

Staff from Old Dominion Home Care took part in the CAREavan Challenge

Staff from Old Dominion Home Care in Fairfax participate in the CAREavan Challenge on June 16, 2020. (Photo: Courtesy of Alexandra Johnson)

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Did you hear Kool & the Gang’s “Celebrate” off in the distance a few days ago? Chances are that was Alexandra Johnson of Old Dominion Home Care and some of her co-workers. They drove to five different long-term care facilities in the area to thank their fellow frontline workers.

Everyone could use a smile during this time. Johnson and the others were able to provide that, at a safe distance, of course. They decorated their cars with balloons and wrote messages of gratitude on the windows.

As the caravan from Fairfax drove to the nearby Garden and Woodlands facilities, then headed to Alexandria’s Brandywine Living and Fountains of Washington House,  before finally stopping by Oakton’s Sunrise of Hunter Mill, they handed out treats and signs of encouragement. Don’t worry. They wore masks the whole time.

For the group, this wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment idea. It is actually an initiative started by Kate Caldwell of Eldertree Care Management of Northern Virginia.

The CAREavan Challenge has some general guidelines. They are:

  1. Choose three long-term care communities.
  2. Contact the community before your visit, which must include 10 to 15 cars.
  3. Drop a gift of appreciation for staff- goodies for break room, pizza, doughnuts, cards, etc.
  4. Then once the visit is over, tag Eldertreecaremanagement on Instagram and Facebook and use the hashtag #Careavanchallenge.

“While our intent was to raise the spirits of these healthcare heroes,” Johnson told The Zebra, “our spirits were lifted too!”

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