This year, 2018, is a significant year in many ways for the Russell Home and our supporters. I would like to recap some of those momentous moments through the year.
In 1947, when our Grandmother had under 10 children in her home Mr. T. G. Lee began donating milk to our home. He continued to do so and even though he has sold the company, T. G. Lee Dairy continues to donate milk, marking 2018 as the 71st year of his generosity! Our Grandmother met Mr. Lee through the parents of the first child she took in, Marilyn Barnhill, they owned the Flamingo Hotel in downtown Orlando.
2018 marks the 47th year Harvill’s Produce has been donating produce weekly to the Russell Home. This friendship began when Mr. Ernie Harvill met my Grandmother. He visited the home recently and told me how much he loved our Grandmother and this act of kindness was one of the things he was most proud of in his lifetime. We are forever grateful for Mr. Harvill’s generosity and commitment, we look forward to seeing the produce truck each week!
Wittmer Clinic of Chiropractic, Dr. Scott Wittmer, D.C. has been collecting food and donations for the Russell Home for 40 years! Each year his patients, staff and friends work all year to collect groceries which he delivers in a U-Haul truck each December. This tradition for 40 years, is the largest food delivery for the Russell Home each year. We are thankful for Dr. Wittmer’s commitment to our home and the commitment of his staff, patients and friends.
Airboat Santa, East Lake Camp – 2018 will mark the 40th year Mr. Dave Johnson hosted breakfast and the arrival of Santa on an airboat for our children. Mr. Johnson visited recently and told me the memories he has of children we have lost, special ones who have touched his heart and having the pleasure of watching them grow up. Such a wonderful tradition he has created for our home!
Annual Golf Tournament hosted by Orange Buick GMC – 2018 will be the 40th year of our annual golf tournament! PLEASE consider hosting a team or come join a team! There is a silent auction and lunch served after the tournament and prizes for the ‘premier’ golfers!
2018 marks the 10th year of our “Do You Know My Jesus” chapel church service hosted by Steve Brock and Martin Bird every Friday! This service is the highlight of the resident’s week. They get so excited getting ready for church, ready to sing to the heavens, to hear the bible stories and to see the weekly puppet show performed by Steve’s wife and children, who are now in college!
This year has been significant for me also, to be in this position for five years and have the pleasure of getting to know each resident! Celebrating birthdays with them, celebrating their triumphs in the classroom, seeing them interact with our amazing Caregivers!
I have learned how difficult of a job our Caregivers have and to see the compassion they have in their hearts to be here each day, is difficult to put into words.
Being here each day and seeing how our family comes together to make sure the vision and purpose my Grandmother put into place is not lost in the day to day trials, triumphs, challenges and changes!
All of this comes together because there is such a strong Faith within our home, knowing God leads the way and brings our donors, supporters, volunteers and children through our door to continue HIS desire!