WAYNE, NJ – In the Wayne Mom’s group on Facebook an announcement went out for ‘Operation Cheer-Up.’ Kristen Lescinsky, whose mother is a resident at a Wayne assisted living facility called on volunteers to help cheer-up the senior residents with a car parade, flowers, pretzels and hand-made cards.

Lescinsky comes to visit her mother as often as she can, but since the social distancing rules have been mandated, she can only sit with her Mom outside. “They’re all getting really depressed,” she said of the residents. “Nothing seems to be making them happy.”

Pat Booth, Lescinsky’s mother, agreed. “It’s very quiet,” she said. “You open your door and there’s no one around.”

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Sitting in the sunshine, ringed around the edge of the circular drive, just outside the entrance, senior residents were all smiles waving to the parade of decorated cars that slowly drove past; the occupants inside waving and sharing greetings of good cheer.

“It’s the first time I’ve seen a lot of them smile in a long time,” said Lescinsky.

Booth sat the prescribed distance away from her two friends Shirley and Dora. “We all used to sit at the same table and laugh,” she said. “Now we come outside to get together.”

After the parade, Lescinsky handed out colorful, home-made greeting cards to each resident. “Kids from town made cards for them,” she said. “They’re so sweet.”

Jude Anthony from Jude Anthony Florist on Mountainview Boulevard donated dozens of beautiful long-stem red roses and was there to hand them out one-by-one. Anthony was asked if he had a parent in residence here. “No,” he replied. “I just wanted to be able to give back to the community and help to brighten everybody’s day.” 

Given the smiles, he did just that.

“The Philly Pretzel Factory in Wayne donated Pretzels, and they wrapped each individually as a safety precaution,” said Lescinsky.

On a sunny, but blustery April afternoon in Wayne, a team of volunteers brought a dose of cheer to a group that really needed it.  Operation Cheer-Up was a success.