Parsonage Cottage “To My Valentine” Project Brings Joy to Seniors

The Parsonage Cottage Senior Residence “To My Valentine” project was launched three weeks ago, intending to show its residents that people care.

“We know that seniors bring wisdom, knowledge, and guidance to our lives. They have spent most of their lives loving and caring for others. They deserve the same in return, and I wanted to do something that would demonstrate care and respect for them,” said Penny Lore, who has served as Executive Director at Parsonage for nearly 20 years. The community did indeed respond! 

With the community responding with well over 800 items donated, Lore and the Parsonage Cottage staff created individual baskets for each of the 38 residents and gift bags for the 20 staff members.

“This is a perfect example of when love is viewed as a verb; its focus is on giving, not receiving,” Lore said, adding, “We are so touched and overwhelmed by the generosity of our community.”

The donations included greeting cards, many of which were handmade, chocolate and other candy, decorated cookies, chocolate covered pretzels, miniature bottles of Kahlúa, hand-crocheted hearts, origami, jokes from kids, balloons, and even chatterboxes (the beloved paper fortune tellers). 

Parsonage Cottage has been especially impressed by how many children participated.

“Many of them aren’t seeing their own grandparents due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so they understood and related to the seniors living in a place like Parsonage Cottage,” Lore said.

From the beginning, it’s been difficult for the Parsonage Cottage residents, who have unable to see their families and their friends.

Early last spring, they were able to start doing Zoom calls thanks to a technology drive that gave each resident an iPad, but Zoom is not the same as in-person interaction.

Lore summed up the success of the Valentine’s Day Drive, saying, “Our future is bright with so many thoughtful people, especially younger ones, stepping forward and lifting up our residents and staff.” 

About Parsonage Cottage Senior Residence: 

Parsonage Cottage Senior Residence is an affordable home for our own Greenwich older adults to be able to age in place, near friends and family, remaining in the town they call home. Quality of life and health is so much better when we are in familiar surroundings, allowing for peace of mind for our residents, as well as their family members, who can visit more often. 

Lore enthusiastically described the state-of-the-art, traditionally designed, large “cottage” as idyllically set on magnificently landscaped wooded acres in the heart of beautiful mid-town Greenwich. “It’s really the people that make the difference. We have a caring staff, a hard-working Board of Directors, and every resident is treated as a member of the family,” said Lore. 

Recently updated, the Cottage boasts 34 bright, spacious single rooms and three double rooms, all with large private baths. Residents are allowed to bring their own furniture to create a familiar home environment because, after all, there’s no place like home.