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Moline businesses give back to nursing home residents with care packages

Three Moline business owners are visiting nursing home residents every week this month to spread some joy during the coronavirus pandemic.

MOLINE, Ill. — Three business owners in Moline are giving back to those who may be the most isolated due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Christina Sanchez, a Country Style Franchisee; Katie Thompson, owner of The Market; and Emily Ferguson, owner of Three Girls Vintage, collaborated on gift baskets for residents of Heartland Health Care Center in Moline.

They also brought signs so they could send a message of love that residents could see through the windows.

"They can't see their families," Sanchez says. "They can't see their friends and if they do it's through a window."

The business owner's gift baskets included lotion and hand sanitizer from The Market, tulips from Three Girls Vintage and Country Style Ice Cream.

"Those residents are so excited we're here," Ferguson says. "That makes everything worthwhile. I'm still teary-eyed after seeing all their faces and all the waving."

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Heartland Activities Director Courtney Zalizniak said the center has had to implement the same precautions as other places such as ending or modifying group activities and working to keep residents six feet apart. 

Visitors are also not allowed.

"The residents absolutely love being able to see people, even if it's not their loved one," Zalizniak says. "They get to interact with the community, even if they can't talk to them."

The trio will be at the nursing home once a week throughout May to deliver care packages until each resident has gotten one.

"Just reaching out to your community and doing things for people you don't really think of," Sanchez says. "It's just something you can do in an easy friendly way to show that you care."

Sanchez says business has been steady at her Country Style stores. She's offering drive-thru where she can and says people are looking for a way to get out, even if it's just for ice cream.

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The Market has had to close because of the pandemic. Thompson has gotten some of her inventory online so customers can still get their favorite products from their favorite vendors.

At Three Girl's Vintage, Ferguson says demand has been up for her flowers as the coronavirus pandemic drags on. 

She says people are looking for a way to brighten up their day or someone else's.