While visiting a resident at Mary Ryder Home one of our members became aware of the need residents have for social interaction. She approached Terry Jones, an administrator, who suggested an afternoon of playing Bingo; the Soroptimist International of Greater St. Louis club would provide snacks, prizes and assistance to the residents with finding their numbers, calling the game and winning Bingo cards. For the last six years, our club has been coordinating and hosting Bingo games with the residents once a quarter on Sunday afternoons.
Our members donate costume jewelry, purses, scarves, cosmetics, stationary, personal care items, stuffed animals and other knick-knacks for prizes. Bingo game winners search through the items and choose their own prize. One of the great things about our Bingo games is that everyone wins a prize. In addition to the prizes, we provide a grab bag of lotions, shampoos, soaps and conditioners residents can select items from. Recently we added gently used throws, shoes and clothing to the prize selection; the residents have truly loved having these additional items.
Soroptimists also bring pre-packaged crackers, cookies, chips and granola bars for snacks; the staff of Mary Ryder Home provides lemonade to drink. Residents look forward to the various snacks which also provide a vehicle for discussion and socialization.
We have had the pleasure of getting to know the residents and have become invested in their well being; which is very rewarding. Some of the residents seldom have visitors and look forward to the quarterly Bingo games for their social interaction.
This past Halloween, Bingo included decorating pumpkins, taking pictures and getting sweet treats. The residents were excited to have and decorate their own individual pumpkins for their rooms. The afternoon with the residents was a huge success.
In addition to the Bingo games, our club started a birthday card program. Each Resident will receive a birthday card on their birthday signed by our members with well wishes and sentiments.
Giving to women is part of this organization’s goal; however, the members of Soroptimist International of Greater St. Louis have been the ones made richer by the residents who give to us more than they will ever know with their smiles, hugs and thank you’ s when we are concluding our Sunday afternoons with them.