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A good kind of cold comfort: young Newfoundlanders brighten days for seniors with snowmen


Community Youth Network spreading cheer in Grand Bank

GRAND BANK, N.L. —

Her hands clasped tightly together, the grateful look on a senior’s face as she peered out her window said it all.

In another window, a homemade sign simply read “thank you.”

It was mission accomplished for the Grand Bank Community Youth Network (CYN) at the Blue Crest Nursing home on Wednesday afternoon.



Allison Parsons, left, and Billie Forsey were bundled up warm for Wednesday’s chilly weather. PAUL HERRIDGE/THE TELEGRAM
Allison Parsons, left, and Billie Forsey were bundled up warm for Wednesday’s chilly weather. PAUL HERRIDGE/THE TELEGRAM

“It makes me feel really nice to put a smile on seniors’ faces because no one can get in and see them,” said Matthew Bungay, who was building a snowman with his mom, LeeAnn, and sister, Erin.

“A day off school, why not put our skills to use, hey guys?” LeeAnn, a teacher at Lake Academy in Fortune, added.

Wednesday was supposed to be the first day back in schools on the Burin Peninsula following the recent COVID-19 interruption. Classes in Grand Bank and Fortune were called off until Thursday, however.


Siblings Erin, left, and Matthew Bungay, right, built a snowman with their mom, LeeAnn. — PAUL HERRIDGE/THE TELEGRAM
Siblings Erin, left, and Matthew Bungay, right, built a snowman with their mom, LeeAnn. — PAUL HERRIDGE/THE TELEGRAM


The fresh new snow over the past couple of days made for the perfect opportunity to build some snowmen at local seniors facilities, said Debbie Meade, the organization’s executive director.

The CYN put out a call on its Facebook page Wednesday encouraging family bubbles to help spread some cheer to older residents of the community over the next few weeks – if the snow continues to cooperate – by building snowmen at the nursing home, the Blue Crest Cottages and the Kingsway Living retirement centre.

They’re even supplying kits complete with hats, scarves, carrots and all the other necessary snowman-building accessories.

The activity serves as an important lesson for the kids, noted Meade, who said they’ve discussed how the pandemic has been particularly difficult for seniors.

“I think it teaches kids kindness and how to think about others rather than themselves, and why they’re doing it,” she said.



A resident watches through her window as Lux Forsey works on a snowman outside the Blue Crest Nursing Home in Grand Bank Wednesday. PAUL HERRIDGE/THE TELEGRAM
A resident watches through her window as Lux Forsey works on a snowman outside the Blue Crest Nursing Home in Grand Bank Wednesday. PAUL HERRIDGE/THE TELEGRAM

Paul Herridge covers reports on the Burin Peninsula. [email protected]


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