GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — As more and more Americans slowly return to pre-pandemic rituals and socialization, there are demographics that are high risk and can't go outside much, like the residents of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.
Thanks to a great group of volunteers, those heroes in the veterans' home are being shown love and appreciation in a different way.
Four times a month, two mornings and two evenings, a parade of cars with honking horns and flags waving drives by the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.
The parade is usually made up of 10-20 cars, but sometimes up to 30. The parade also delivers some of the goodies the residents are missing out on.
Since the pandemic struck, their vending machines are not able to be filled up.
"Coke, Diet Coke, Dr. Pepper, Root Beer, 7up, individually wrapped cakes and candies, chips, beef jerky. And the latest thing is that they're really wanting puzzles, adult coloring books, games, that kind of stuff. Stuff to keep them occupied beyond T.V.," explained Roseann Claire-Lamore, one of the parade's organizers.
Tracey Nelson, Nursing Home Administrator at the GR Home for Vets added that while the veterans wish they could physically see family members, they still greatly appreciate the sentiment.
"I think it makes them both happy and sad because they've become part of our family and not being able to see them is challenging, but they absolutely appreciate the cars that go through," Nelson said.
The parade is held on the first and third Tuesday of every month at 10 a.m., and the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m.
Everyone is welcome to attend by just showing up where the parade lines up at the Monroe entrance.