The Kensington celebrates May Day with flowers, social distancing

Residents at the Kensington got to watch as family members showed up outside to make them a May...
Residents at the Kensington got to watch as family members showed up outside to make them a May Day basket when they aren't allowed inside to celebrate. (KSNB)(KSNB)
Published: May. 1, 2020 at 6:08 PM CDT
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Even in the era of social distancing, holidays still can be celebrated, but in a safe way. That is what The Kensington did Friday by making May Day baskets and allowing people to drive by and say hello to their family members. For some of the residents, May Day baskets are a long time tradition.

“My kids always made May baskets and delivered them to the neighbors,” Resident Betty Thomas said.

People like Betty haven't gotten to see their family in person for weeks. The Kensington is under strict rules of people not entering the building. So they set up the basket shop, with plenty of room to spread out, and people could drive by and see their loved ones. Households arrived in shifts to keep the groups small.

“Everybody is loving it. We have people that signed up and people that are just stopping by. They're very thankful and it's already brightening people's days,” Executive Director Jessica Soucie said.

For those who wished to stay inside, they could wave from the window as their family made a basket to be sent to their rooms later. They got to choose a flower, colored ribbon, and a decorative butterfly.

“They make our day everyday,” Soucie said. “They are why we're here, they are why we all love our jobs so to get them outside and interacting with people and waving it brightens their day and their spirits and that's what it's all about.”

The Kensington staff said they have been working hard to come up with activities to keep the residents busy. They have started staying late in the evenings and weekends to make sure people stay connected through video calls. Residents get outside when they can to soak up the spring sun and even with the changes, they are staying positive for the future.

“It'll get better. It may take a little while but it'll get better in the end,” Betty said.

The residents are staying hopeful that they will get to see their families soon. The Kensington has a few ideas in the future to hopefully connect them even more and will share them when they are fully planned out.