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East Rockaway's Builders Club spreads love to senior citizens


Staying connected during Covid-19 has been tough, but East Rockaway’s Builders Club contacted nursing homes just in time for Valentine’s Day.

The mission of the club was to show that love is not lost. Last February, members of the Builders and Key clubs spent Valentine’s Day with seniors at the Atria nursing home in Lynbrook, just one month before Covid-19 shut down the state.

During the visit, they played bingo and participated in crafts. Though such a trip was impossible to pull off this year, the Builders Club still wanted to spread the love by sending valentines to seniors and caregivers at Atria.

On behalf of the club, Don Poland brought carnations, valentines and other holiday-themed goodies to the nursing home. Students in eighth grade wrote valentines for the seniors and helped to prepare everything for them. Additionally, Mike Graham of the East Rockaway Florist and Flowers by Mike donated 110 canrations, which were also given.

The donation was in keeping with the Building Club’s mission statement, which is to build a better community. With Valentine’s Day being a holiday meant to spread love and kindness while making people smile, the Builders Club members decided to celebrate from afar.

Nursing Homes have been hit hard by this pandemic. Covid-19 has claimed more than 160,000 lives of nursing home residents and staff in the U.S. They also had to

close their doors to any outsiders in precaution. With seniors going through a tough time and being unable to see their family due to lockdowns, the Builders Club decided to send them some love on Valentine’s Day. The club also sought to honor caregivers for their patience and dependability during such a hard time.

“Building a better community starts with small acts of kindness,” Poland said. “With every project the Builders Club accomplishes, we hope it is another smile. I hope the kind-hearted residents and caregivers of Atria nursing home [had] a nice Valentine’s Day that [was] just a little bit happier when they received their valentines.”


Courtesy East Rockaway Builders Club; compiled by Mike Smollins