By Josh Bootsma
LANSING, Ill. (December 27, 2021) – When Lansing resident Maureen Grady-Perovich saw a former student post on Facebook about needing Christmas gifts for residents at Lansing’s own Tri-State Village Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, she thought Lansing could certainly step up and help out. The only problem: she saw the post last Tuesday, just a few days before Christmas.
Just hours after hearing of the need, Grady-Perovich posted on her own Facebook page about it, saying, in part, “There is a nursing home in Lansing that has 17 residents without any family to help them celebrate Christmas. Can I count on you for a donation?”
As of this writing, the post has 137 comments from local residents volunteering to donate time, cash, and various gift items.
Over the next couple of days, Grady-Perovich and others gathered and transported gifts of all kinds from local residents, businesses, organizations, churches, and others. “I was inundated,” she said, “I had four carloads of clothes. Two or three churches [donated]. One older lady gave hand-crocheted blankets and shawls.”
Grady-Perovich estimated 75-100 donors were involved in the quick campaign. She said she turned away a few donors, asking them to delay their generosity until the next project.
On Christmas Eve morning, Grady-Perovich and her former student Samantha Harris, LACE president Jennifer Polley, and Legion Rider “Biker Bill” Strauch — dressed as Santa — went to Tri-State Village and gave residents gifts.
“I believe we covered them all,” Grady-Perovich said of the 17 residents that were without family this Christmas. She said they had so many gifts that many other residents of the facility received presents as well.
“I hope we made a bit of a difference,” Grady-Perovich said. “Lansing came through as they always do. Always.”
Tri-State Village is located at 2500 E. 175th Street in Lansing.