Olney community pulls through for Grace Care Center drive-thru parade

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — As people across the nation and Texoma practice social distancing in an effort to protect one another, those in nursing homes aren’t being forgotten.  

The Olney community thought outside the box, or outside the car, Wednesday to provide a wave parade for the residents at Grace Care Center and the community really came through. 

Cars are meant to get you from point A to point B, in Olney they’ve become a point of joy. Joy that stretched more than 100 cars long.  

“I’m not surprised with this city, because Olney that’s what we do, we stand behind our people and these are family members, if even their friends, they’re family,” social distancing wave parade organizer Jan Williams said.  

Williams’ mother-in-law is a Grace Care Center resident, and not being able to be face-to-face with her in weeks has been hard.  

“I think this meant the world to them,” Williams said. “I’ve lived here for 41 years, I was at the chamber for many years and this was someway that we could do something for this group of people.”  

Those in nursing homes are some of the most vulnerable to not only the coronavirus, but loneliness. 

“Our frontlines looks a lot different than the hospital frontline does, we’re here to help maintain their health and their mental health as well, and for these people they’ve haven’t got to see their loved ones,” Grace Care Center business office manager Susan Piercy said.  

With horns honking, signs swaying, and balloons bouncing off cars, a glimpse of hope was brought to Olney.  

“We want them to be comfortable during this time, that’s the main thing, just to maintain happiness,” Piercy said. 

“Olney’s a blessing, but that’s nothing new,” Williams said. 

Although there are no positive cases in Olney right now, the community is keeping a point of positivity.

The nursing home is doing everything it can to keep residents connected with their families with nurses using their own cell phones to let folks FaceTime, and Piercy said some have even found windows are the best meeting place 

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