During a “parade of compassion,” eight cars, donned with brightly colored ribbons, children waving out the windows and drivers honking their horns, circled around several retirement communities to bring joy and a sense of belonging to the residents inside.
This is just one way members of Courthouse Road (North Chesterfield, Va.) continue to build bridges back to God during these uncertain times.
“The car parade went to two nursing homes and one retirement community,” explains Heather Crews, pastor. “It started with a text from one resident saying how locked down she felt in her retirement community. How no visitors could come in and people were just staying to themselves. This parade ended up being an encouraging time for the residents and staff at all three facilities.”
LuAnn Paul, the executive director of one of the communities, expressed her thanks in a letter saying,”I have had staff tell me how special the car parade was from your church! It meant a lot and touched the hearts of the staff and residents! Several had tears in their eyes.”
Crews says it was simple to put together, but also had a profound impact on those who participated in the parade. Courthouse members have been intentional about doing other forms of “drive by compassion.”
Kelly and her family spent the week baking and the weekend delivering boxes with handwritten greeting cards. Eric made birdhouse kits and dropped them off with a wave. Heather put toilet paper and peanut butter in bags and hung them on people’s door knobs. Joanne put together a care package of cars and books to entertain seven year old Owen.
“Each package was prepared at home and packaged up,” explains Crews. “Then the person could just walk to the doorstep, knock, walk across the yard and wave from over six feet away. It provides connections within our church family and community even when we are apart from each other.”
Crews says there are more events like this planned, as members gear up to buy meals for local hospital ER and ICU staff. They are also putting together a free pantry for people to drive by and pick up groceries. “There are so many ways to share compassion while maintaining social distancing,” says Crews.