You've seen the photos and videos, haven't you? Families and friends standing with tears pouring down their cheeks as they and their loved ones touch palms through thick glass. How do you not cry with them?

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Being in a nursing home brings bouts of loneliness to even the most positive person, but imagine what it must be like for our nursing home residents who thanks to coronavirus have had to spend day after day trapped inside the same building, some in the same room. No hugs, no kisses, no physical contact. For months on end.

In 2015 my husband and I started a family tradition of visiting nursing homes in Broome County on Christmas Day and delivering Christmas cards to residents who might need some cheer. In the first year of our Making Spirits Bright Christmas Card Campaign, we delivered about 1,500 Christmas cards.

And then people heard what we were doing and our community wanted to help. By Christmas of 2019, with the help of our community, we were able to deliver cards to nursing homes in Broome, Tioga, Susquehanna, and Chenango counties. We were flooded with more than 10,000 Christmas cards which meant that each resident at every nursing home we visited was able to receive at least one Christmas card if not two or three.

I was afraid that we might not be able to do our Making Spirits Bright Christmas Card Campaign this year due to the restrictions in place because of coronavirus, but after speaking with several nursing home employees, we've learned that we can, but we must modify the way we do things. And again, we are reaching out for your help.

If you'd like to bring a bit of Christmas joy to a resident of a local nursing home, we invite you to sign a Christmas card or two or three or even an entire box. Or, have your kids draw some pictures or make homemade cards. Your note inside doesn't have to be elaborate. Even a simple, "Thinking of you and wishing you joy this Christmas" signed with your family name is great!

Traci Taylor

Due to pandemic restrictions, we won't be able to hand-deliver cards and all cards will need to be dropped off at Twin Tiers area nursing homes well before Christmas so that they can be isolated before being given to residents. So, we will need to have all cards and drawings (and even small gifts, if you'd like to give any) no later than Wednesday, December 2, 2020.

If you'd like to help, you can mail your things to:

Traci Taylor
c/o Townsquare Media
59 Court Street
Binghamton, NY 13901

Or, you can drop them off weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. in the box located between the lobby double doors of Townsquare Media, 59 Court Street, Binghamton, NY 13901.

You can also deliver cards, drawings, etc. to The Artisan Shop curated by Hilltop Pottery at 2001 East Main Street in Endicott weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Artisan Shop is located in front of the Dickin Animal Hospital.