Seniors practice ‘art’ of giving, help kids get back-to-school ready

(fotoshay , The Palace Gardens)

HOMESTEAD, Fla. – Residents at The Palace Gardens in Homestead, an assisted living and memory support community, are making art to make a difference.

They attended weekly arts and crafts classes to create pieces they could sell to help underprivileged kids in their area have the supplies they need for the new school year.

Last month, the residents, in their 80s and 90s, held a back-to-school event to give 20 of those kids their gifts, which included bookbags stuffed with supplies and tablets.

“I was inspired by the fundraising efforts of the back-to-school event,” said 93-year-old Mary Lou Ardrey. “I hope my projects inspire creativity in children. It’s important for kids to express themselves through art.”

Homestead Councilman Larry Roth, president and co-founder of This is for The Kids, Inc., has been helping Palace residents sell their art pieces on Facebook.

Residents’ artwork was also sold at family events at The Palace. Pieces sold for $10 and contain a message regarding Alzheimer’s disease.  

“Each art piece created by our residents is made with love and shows their attention to detail,” said Alexandra Urdaneta, director of activities. “Residents embrace the community’s program, ‘The Palace Cares,’ and feel so good about their ability to give back to the community by helping others.”

About the Author:

Mayte Padron Cordones is an Emmy-award winning journalist and the director of WPLG's Community Relations Department, overseeing the station's outreach initiatives to benefit and strengthen the South Florida community.