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A Quarantine Christmas

Christmas is the time for family, friends, and faith. 305 8th Street combines all three of those, every day of the year. We have chosen each other as family, as well as close friends.

We rely on our faith in God, and our community, that our needs are taken care of, and we remain in a safe and healthy home.

Christmas can be difficult for anyone, but especially for people who have don’t have a family, nor a home. COVID has made Christmas look very different for most people, but having to cope with COVID, while having a mental disability, is much more difficult. Our home and residents thrive off of certainty and schedules. However, COVID has ruined schedules and certainty, as well as any opportunity the residents had of visiting friends and family.

While some of our residents don’t have family, or can’t see their family, no one in our 305 family ever has to go through anything in life alone, including the staff. We are a support system for each other and our community.

When I got sick and had to be away from the home for nearly two months, I was depressed and anxious. I had a million things to do at work and no time or energy to do it. But the moment I walked into the home I was greeted by Sue and Jeanne immediately. Kellie wrote me two “get-well-soon” cards and sent me a message on Facebook. Jean called me, while in my office, and told me she had been thinking about me. Andrea, who takes care of her own family, as well as the 305 residents and staff, called me to talk for 15 minutes, "just to hear your voice". Ira, who is a man of little words, and who called me “lady” for the first 3 months of me working here, said, “Madeline! I’ve missed you!”

I cried. I have never felt the amount of overwhelming love and support as I have the past 8 months of working with these incredibly thoughtful, loving, and supportive people.

Every home has hardships, but 305 was built on hardships. The hardships that every resident has gone through has made them so unique and understanding. Hardships are what brought us together.

These residents have lived through unimaginable, horrific events, but they show love like they’ve never been hurt. I admire every single one of the residents for their ability to adapt to living with 20 other adults. I could barely live with my 3 brothers. But if you walk through the homes, you see how they do it. They genuinely love and care for each other. They choose to live together.

I have worked with children, foster siblings, and prison inmates, but none of that compares to how exhausting yet rewarding this job is. Every day is a new adventure and despite the days when we don’t have a working toilet in the house, there’s nowhere that any of us would rather be.

Our Christmas wish is that you would help our 305 family.

Please help keep our family together this Christmas by donating!

~email: for volunteer opportunities~

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