PINELLAS PARK, Fla. — A group of volunteers walked around Suncoast Hospice in Pinellas Park, singing carols at a safe distance for patients to enjoy.
“This is the season where music can really lift you up,” said caroler Gerri Fegan.
Gerri and her husband Paul were among eight carolers to walk around Suncoast Hospice this week, stopping in hallways and outside windows, spreading the Christmas cheer through song.
“It is a great gift for us to be able to share what we can do to make them happy,” said Gerri.
“It widens the circle of concern, we know that our families care about us but it is also good to know that other people outside our small circle also care about us, too,” said Paul.
In the past carolers would go right into the patient’s room, but that all changed due to the pandemic. Social interaction is the best gift these patients can receive.
“More of the human touch that unfortunately our volunteers have been unable to offer during this pandemic,” said Jamie Gallagher, with Suncoast Hospice.
Jan Dorr’s caroling is extra personal. Her mother died in the care of Suncoast Hospice in the same facility.
“And I saw then how loving and caring they were, she was truly even til the end taken care of,” said Dorr.
Dorr said the best thing she’s ever done was return year after year to sing. Especially in 2020, to bring some normalcy to a year that’s been anything but.
“I’m here to get into the Christmas spirit myself, to give it and to enjoy it,” said Dorr.