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Massena woman starts 'card train' to send Christmas cards to nursing home

Watertown Daily Times - 11/30/2023

Nov. 30—MASSENA — A Massena woman wants to make sure nursing home residents have a happy holiday season.

Jennifer Dumers, the organizer of the "LeeAnn's Loving Spirits Card Train Project," is asking people to send homemade or store-bought Christmas cards to the North Country Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, formerly the Highland Nursing Home on Highland Road.

Dumers had started a successful monthlong "card train" in July in honor of a 37-year-old friend, LeeAnn M. Planty, who died of cervical cancer in August 2017. She would have celebrated her birthday on July 1.

"I got together with a very good friend of mine, Dani Cross, who works for the nursing home, and came up with this idea, and she loved it," Dumers said. "When they see a resident having a bad day, Dani and her staff will hand them a card to open to brighten up their day. The cards can be store-bought cards or you can be creative and make a card."

That drive was successful, Dumers said. The nursing home received 232 cards that month with cards still being sent.

Now, she wants to make the holidays cheerful for the nursing home residents. She's set a deadline of Dec. 20 to send the cards to LeeAnn's Loving Spirits, C/O Activities Department, 182 Highland Road, Massena, N.Y. 13662.

"I did the first one in July. Then, my partner told me Christmas is a lonely time for the residents. So, I decided to do it for Christmas," Dumers said.

And it won't be the last card train. Dumers has said she would like to make it an annual event to continue honoring her friend and bring joy to the nursing home residents.

The Nicandri Nature Center also wants to bring a smile to local senior citizens with a holiday card-making event at 11 a.m. Friday. The cards will be distributed to local senior centers.

All supplies will be provided. No registration is required.

For more information, call the Nicandri Nature Center at 315-705-5022 or email info@massenanaturecenter.com.

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