Every 2nd Sunday we conduct a Whorship service at the Hillsdale Medical Care Facility at 2:15pm.
League of Mercy
The Face of Loneliness
Mabel has lived in the nursing home for over five years. Her family rarely visits anymore. They're busy people. Besides, it's too depressing to see her so frail that she can't walk or care for herself. Her friends don't come either. Most of them have passed on, moved away or, like her, have gone into a nursing home. Although she receives care from kind nurses, and the activity director organizes nice meetings, Mabel's world has gotten very small. These few people comprise her entire social circle. Some visitors who come look right past her as if she's not there. They don't even smile or say hello. Mabel hasn't lost her mind, just some of her physical abilities. She hasn't lost her heart, either. She still needs love and friendship and laughter. The one bright spot in her life is the monthly visit from people at The Salvation Army. They call themselves a League of Mercy. Expressions of Love
The League of Mercy is an expression of love in the best traditions of The Salvation Army's service. It truly reflects the ideal of The Salvation Army slogan: Heart to God, Hand to Man. Each year thousands of Salvation Army League of Mercy volunteers visit hundreds of thousands of people in nursing homes, mental health facilities, group homes, veterans facilities, hospitals, prisons and private homes where individuals are shut-in and unable to touch an outside world of people. Visits are made to these places with the purpose of providing a spiritual and social ministry to the sick, the handicapped, the aged, and those who are lonely and discouraged, whether in institutions or private homes.
Volunteers will sometimes bring small gifts such as toiletries, stationery and pens, magazines, candy, fruit, even stuffed animals. More importantly they bring warm hugs, friendly smiles, sparkling laughter and listening ears. They visit and offer to pray with the residents or patients, and are ready to share encouraging words from the Bible. Sometimes they bring musical instruments and have a group sing-along in the dining room or activity room. What matters most is that they bring love. Residents feel valued, cared about, alive again. In some locations League of Mercy volunteers provide weekly activities in nursing homes that may include music, crafts, discussion groups, birthday parties and worship meetings. These activities sometimes mirror the types of meetings held in Salvation Army corps community centers, except they are held in an institutional setting rather than in a Salvation Army building. Residents feel more in touch with the outside world through regular involvement in ordinary activities. They recover the joy of being alive. During the Easter and Christmas seasons League of Mercy volunteers visit thousands of residents of veterans' hospitals, prisons, and state and county homes for children and older adults. Many people who otherwise would spend the holidays alone receive a visit and a gift. A Circle of Caring
League of Mercy volunteers represent diverse backgrounds, from children who bring youthful enthusiasm and affection, to neighbors who devote a few hours periodically to this beautiful ministry, to Salvation Army members and officers (clergy) who are trained in grief and AIDS counseling, gerontology and pastoral care. Organized groups and individuals join hands, creating a circle of caring around those who have need of this unique ministry called the League of Mercy.
Skills and interests are employed to meet practical needs. Volunteers may mend clothing, knit lap robes, wrap packages, write letters, shop for groceries and provide transportation to doctor appointments. Some Salvation Army centers train young people in skills such as mime, clowning and puppetry to help raise the spirits of nursing home residents and hospital patients. Even a three-year-old singing Jesus Loves Me can be a part of that circle of caring, bringing smiles to the heart and face of loneliness. Most League of Mercy volunteers are people who simply share the common bond of caring. Do you long to serve God by serving others? Do you have a compassionate heart and time to share with people of all ages who need a caring friend? The League of Mercy has many opportunities that will enrich you as you bring love and cheer to others, changing one life at a time.