ISHPEMING - After partaking in the delicious desserts that are served on some Fridays at the Ishpeming Senior Citizens Center, many of the participants stick around to take part in a craft making session.
This past Friday's session was an especially heart-touching one as the craft was for a special purpose: To put together memory boxes for the families of hospice patients.
"This is a way to help families remember a loved one," said Jessamine Spulak, an assistant at the Ishpeming Senior Center. "What we will put in the memory box are a photo frame, an angel, a candle and a little satchel that they can use to put in a lock of hair or a wedding band or some other keepsake."
Rose Collick holds an angel made of glass that goes into a memory box being made by seniors at the Ishpeming Senior Citizens Center. The boxes will be given to families of hospice patients. (Journal photo by Renee Prusi)
The Ishpeming seniors worked on the project, which is coordinated by Upper Peninsula Home Health, Hospice and Private Duty.
"This is an ongoing program, something we've done for the last three months," said Tony Evans, volunteer coordinator for UPHHH&PD. "The intention is to provide a keepsake in which the families see a positive message. The angel in there is something we strive to share, a message that there is always an angel with them. And the candle is something they can light in memory of their loved one."
As the seniors helped put the memory boxes together, they were impressed by what was being included.
"This is really cute," Jean Sandstrom said.
"I really like the angel," Evelyn Corkin said. "It's beautiful."
As the work continued, Spulak explained the project to the seniors.
"This is a simple craft, really, but it's something nice for us to do," Spulak said. "Isn't it great that this is going to someone's family?"
The Ishpeming Senior Center craft crew gently placed the items into the boxes, gluing a saying onto the inside cover.
The saying? "May there always be an Angel by your side."
"That's lovely," Rose Collick, one of the seniors, said.
After all the items were placed inside, each box was tied with a ribbon as the final touch.
"The boxes will be turned back by U.P. Home Health and will be delivered to the families by social workers," Spulak said.
Anyone who would like more information on the memory box program can contact Evans at UPHHH&PD at 485-4545 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253.