Silvercrest Experiences Home Invasion
by Linda Spencer –
Almost daily, newspapers report stories of crime and gang violence. Today’s youth seem to be terrorizing the neighborhoods. America’s senior citizens are finding themselves behind locked doors–feeling vulnerable and victimized. Just what happens when 60 youth suddenly invade one’s home?
As part of the United Way Day of Caring, 60 Girl Scouts from the Arizona Cactus-Pine Girl Scout Council in Phoenix, Ariz., invaded The Salvation Army’s Silvercrest residence. But instead of terror, this “home invasion” brought joy to the hearts and smiles to the faces of the 35 senior residents participating in the event.
The Girl Scouts came to Silvercrest with hopes of making new friends. They brought homemade cookies and brownies and entertained the seniors with specially selected songs. Smiles radiated as the girls sang “…Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.”
Friendships developed as each resident worked with two girls making picture frames and wall hangings. Girl Scout leaders took photos of the residents with their new friends.
Memories were made and shared. One resident, 62, told of being in Girl Scouting for 30 years. Her daughter had earned the highest award possible as a Girl Scout, and her son was an Eagle Scout. Another resident had been a dedicated Girl Scout leader for more than 15 years.
The highlight for the young visitors was looking at a photo album from 1927, brought by a resident. The girls were amazed to see a 72-year-old photo of their new friend wearing a Girl Scout uniform.
After the young visitors left, the residents returned to their apartments. But this time, the trip down the long hall didn’t seem quite so long. The joy was still in their hearts, smiles were still on their faces, and each had a picture and the address of their young new friends clutched tightly in their hands. Their lives had been enriched with memories that will last a lifetime.