Visits with family look quite different this year, so Joe was grateful to hug his sister in-person regardless of the masks. After determining that Joe wouldn’t be able to travel to his home state of Ohio, Dreamweaver decided to fly his sister to Nebraska! Reuniting with loved ones, especially considering the challenges of COVID in 2020, was an incredible experience.

With the help of nominator Ruth, daughter Karen, and the staff at Douglas County Health Center (DCHC), a special surprise birthday party was planned for Joe. He had been living at DCHC for a few months and was struggling with the isolation of COVID-19. His daughter, Karen, thought of the idea of bringing in Joe’s sister, Sue, for a visit. With a little bit of planning and making sure everyone was safe, we knew this would be a birthday party for the books!

Sue flew in from Ohio and was excited to see the brother she missed dearly. The entire party was a surprise for Joe, but when Sue walked through the gates of the outdoor garden, Joe was flabbergasted and beyond happy to see her. More guests arrived bringing gifts, cake, and even his dog! The sun was shining brightly and all who attended were grateful for this time together. Dreamweaver gave him a small aloe plant he could nurture throughout the winter months, as he had loved gardening years ago.

Socially distanced, Joe sat and chatted with his old neighbor, friends from his church, his daughter, and of course, most especially, his sister Sue. Everyone was excited to safely be together and the smiles in the photos reflect that. Time with family looks different this year, but the importance of togetherness remains the same.

Thank you to DCHC, Ruth, and Joe’s family for helping create such a special day!