Garden club spreads holiday cheer

Carols and crafts and a special visit by Sadie helped bring smiles to faces of residents at Auglaize Acres.

Roots and Shoots of Auglaize County garden club members visited with Acres residents, passed out baskets as gifts and sang Christmas carols.

“This is our first year brining them her to the Acres, but we are having a good time and they seem to be having a good time,” Roots and Shoots President Bonnie Rausch said. “We made these to pass out and put in their rooms so we could give them a little bit of Christmas spirit and cheer this holiday.”

Last Christmas season, Rausch said they sold them as a fundraiser for the club during the Holiday Open House. This year, they decided to start a month early and donate their works of art.

“For the past month, we spent time making up these baskets with pine cones and decorated with the miniature Christmas bulbs,” Rausch said. “We typically spray them with  a pine scent but we didn’t for the resident. We are just going room to room and handing them out as gifts to the residents.”

Two Roots and Shoots members, Paula and Don Reese, brought along their canine friend, Sadie. Sadie is part of Lima Memorial Hospital’s Pet Partners Program.

The couple and Sadie visit hospitals, nursing homes and schools each week. Paula Reese and Sadie spend at least three hours each week at the hospital and at least three hours visiting schools in Cridesville and Wapakoneta.

After a meeting with Sadie, a black-and-white goldendoodle, Don Reese said some children have uttered their first words and they have taken her to jails, where the jail supervisor has told them it had a calming effect on the inmates. Sadie, who is now 3-years-old, underwent two years of training.

With the Reese couple and Sadie members of Roots and Shoots, Paula and Don Reese felt it would be a great idea for Sadie to visit the residents at Auglaize Acres.

“We wanted to help out at the Acres and since we had the therapy dog, we thought it would be good to bring her here to the Acres,” Don Reese said. “She loves attention, her fur is soft to touch and she tends to stir memories of an old pet and feelings of love.”