Project Lift Up

Employees Show Appreciation For Residents, Staff Members


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People’s Postcards; “My mom came and told us that we should participate in this Project Lift Up for her work,” senior Maeya Gydesen said. “We wrote out heartfelt messages to residents in assisted living homes to put in goodie bags for them, and then the pharmacy took them to all of their assisted living homes to brighten the residents’ day and make them feel better during this crazy unknown time.”

Project Lift Up shows appreciation for residents and staff members that Community Pharmacy supports at assisted living centers in Iowa, Nebraska and some in Arizona. In these centers, residents are struggling with not seeing their friends and family throughout quarantine. Some residents have moved into separate rooms inside the centers to slow the spread of COVID-19. Some employees of Community Pharmacy decided to start Project Lift Up to help everyone at these assisted living centers.
“Project Lift Up’s goal is to make sure that all the residents, that we service, and facility staff members feel that they are cared for and appreciated, chief operating officer pharmacist Ms. Makenzie Farr said. “A lot of those individuals feel social isolation already, so with all of this not being able to see their family, being isolated into their rooms, they don’t really get out. So, anything that we can do to brighten their spirits and make sure that they have some sort of happiness.”

Ansley Gydesen
Loading Project Lift Up; “Another one of our campaigns is creating goodie bags fr the residents,” COO pharmacist Ms. Makenzie Farr said. “It ranges from bubbles to puzzle books to regular puzzles to colored pencils and adult coloring books. Even some of our employees had their kids do some art work Those things mean the world to these people.”

The idea for Project Lift Up began as social distancing measures were put into effect. Despite these guidelines, Community Pharmacy employees were still allowed to visit with the residents when they made deliveries. They felt it was important to support the residents. They wanted to make them feel loved and cared for since they could no longer be with the people who came and saw them before the quarantine.
“We really started to see nursing homes and assisted living centers start to lockdown, and we were in the building when this was happening along with the assisted living staff,” director of customer services Ms. Erin North said “I was watching residents, and they were a little scared because they didn’t know what was going on. I met a man that had really touched my heart because he was telling me about how he had just lost his wife. He said that his family couldn’t come visit him and he couldn’t have a funeral for his wife, so hearing that was really hard because to know that he was experiencing that alone and now asked to be isolated in his room. I then came back to Makenzie and told her that we have to do something.”

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T-Shirts for the Staff; “For our facility staff, we’ve done a t-shirt campaign,” COO pharmacist Ms. Makenzie Farr said. “The t-shirts that we have on today the reverse is actually being distributed to our facility staff members. Just in appreciation saying ‘hey, hang in there, you’re our hero and we’re thinking about you.”

To reach more people in the assisted living centers, the project was shared with Community Pharmacy employees’ families, schools, churches and other community businesses. They were invited to make individual and meaningful postcards for the residents.
“We actually reached out to a handful of different individuals whether it’s churches or schools because Project Lift Up is now open to anyone,” Ms. Farr said. “ One of our biggest campaigns we’ve got going on right now is we’re doing weekly postcards for all of our residents that we service. So, we’re trying to get individualized postcards to each resident so that way they have a different unique message that they’re reading. Not something that’s just a canned message that goes to every resident. We’ve had, I think, an outpouring of over 200 postcards written by our staff and their family members.”

Project Lift Up’s goal was to make residents feel loved. These residents already feel cut off from society as the quarantine continues\; they are not sure when they will see their families. Project Lift Up is open to anyone who wants to participate, whether it is making postcards or donating materials to be distributed to residents and staff. Contact COO pharmacist Ms. Farr at [email protected], or director of customer services Ms. North at [email protected] for more details about Project Lift Up.