When Landsdowne Worship Center offered a bit of love to Caritas House earlier this month, the congregants thought of everything: gift bags for residents, homecooked meals for every shift of employees, and a distribution process that accounted for COVID-19 safety protocols.

“We want to say thank you because it meant so much,” said Tim Scherer, director the Catholic Charities-run assisted living community for seniors. “They touched everybody’s life that day – residents, staff, the whole building was feeling the love!”


George Litz, 92, with his gift from Landsdowne Worship Center

LWC is less than two miles down the street from Caritas House, and scattered connections link the residents and congregants. But LWC’s motivation was simply that they “wanted to come and help out,” Scherer said.

In discussion with Scherer’s team, LWC organizers decided to pitch a tent outside Caritas House and serve the meals to staff – first at 1 p.m., and then at 7 p.m. – to offer appreciation for their work. They also left meals to feed the overnight shift.

In addition, for every resident, they assembled gift bags containing puzzle books, chocolates, letters, and other surprises. Staff distributed the gifts, as COVID-19 prevents visitors from entering the facility.

“I enjoyed every bit of it!” said George Litz, a 92-year-old resident of Caritas House, describing the deck of cards, coloring book, and “goodies” he received.

“We’re isolated, and nobody can come and see us,” said Litz, who usually receives visits from family members, his pastor, and fellow members of the American Legion. Though he has been keeping busy with books, mail, solitaire card games, and TV sitcoms, he said the gift bags were a welcome distraction.

“People have been saying how nice this was,” Scherer said. “Residents and team members have been talking about it all week.”