Touching Lives Stories
Community Organizes Spontaneous Drive-By Parade
“Ottawa residents define what a caring community should be.”
On Friday, March 20, Ottawa resident Danielle Jackson contacted Heritage Woods of Ottawa’s resident services coordinator with a suggestion.
“I want to have a drive-by parade for your residents to show that the community is thinking about them. Can we make this happen?”
Of course our response was absolutely! Tonya Mitre, whose mother resides at Heritage Woods, along with Danielle, took to social media to advertise the parade. None of us were sure what the response would be, or if there would even be a response. What happened next was nothing less than amazing! Less than 24 hours later, the cars and families were excitedly lining up!
Vehicles were decorated with colorful balloons and homemade signs. Many participants brought their dogs along for the parade too. There were family members, lots of grandchildren and great grandchildren, staff members of Heritage Woods and even complete strangers involved in the parade. Moms commented on how fun it was for their children to make the signs and how serious they took this important matter!
Once the cars arrived at Heritage Woods and started to slowly pull in and beep horns, the residents began appearing curiously at their windows. The kids were smiling and happy to be there. The residents were smiling and waving, their faces lighting up when they recognized one of their very own loved ones. Staff members were crying at the sight of such a touching tribute from the community. The atmosphere at Heritage Woods in that moment was palpable. The parade drove through the grounds multiple times so everyone would get a chance to see each vehicle. We even had a black hot rod show up!
Ottawa residents define what a caring community should be: people who care about one another and go out of their way to come up with a unique and creative alternative to reach out and help someone, even when social distancing applies. Heritage Woods of Ottawa is proud to be a part of this community and will continue to strive to make it better every day.