After moving to Chicago, I wanted to find a place my children and I could visit, bring treats and share smiles and hugs,
as we had done in the past. Around that time, I became involved in South Loop Moms n Tots (SLMNT), a group of moms
with children age 5 and younger. We’re a support system of friends and moms that loves doing things in the community,
while teaching our children to be caring and compassionate.
In my search of assisted living centers in Chicago, I happened upon St Mary’s Home run by the Little Sisters of the Poor,
and I’m so glad I did. A regular monthly visit schedule was quickly arranged with Helen Miner in activities.
So many life lessons take place each visit, lessons we can’t teach at home but ones that happen effortlessly when we are at
St. Mary’s. Our children are learning to interact with people different from themselves and gaining confidence that they can
feel comfortable in unfamiliar situations. Whether that means adjusting the way they communicate or showing gentleness
towards others, they are definitely learning acceptance and responsibility.
Many children today are growing up without grandparents or great grandparents in their daily lives. The visits help our children
gain a better understanding of aging and an appreciation for what different people can add to their lives. They see how easy it
is to give to others while learning about themselves.
Our children love seeing their “friends.” They remember their names, and talk about them on the ride home, and each time we
return. They look forward to sharing treats, making cards, reading stories, singing songs, playing catch and putting on little
performances for such an appreciative and attentive audience.
Sometimes it takes a while for the children to warm up, but by the end of the visit they all offer hugs and high fives. They are
eager to answer Residents’ questions (How old are you? Do you have brothers or sisters? What grade are you in? Are you kind
to your mommy?), and they look forward to the undivided attention they receive, no matter what. The children can tell that they
are somewhere special with very special people.
St. Mary’s Home is a place both the parents and children of SLMNT value greatly. We’re thankful we are able to visit with
Residents, and for the happiness it brings to all of us.
Lilly gets a little help from her mom Sandy to Quinn and Sloane share their favorite story with
hand out treats. Resident Helen Linzer.