WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. — Even though we’ve lost so many of our friends and neighbors to COVID-19, there are few memorials acknowledging the deaths. A senior living facility in Wheat Ridge wanted to change that, with help from the community.
When communities come together, loss can feel a little easier to comprehend.
"You can’t do it and feel bad about yourself. It always helps lift your spirit," said Aidan Brainard, a senior at Columbine High School, as he painted a fence at the facility. "I’m happy that we’re making this pretty for them."
Class was not held at Columbine High School on April 20. Instead, students, teachers and families participated in a day of service to honor the victims of the school shooting 23 years ago.
The Columbine baseball team used their day of service to help the Mountain Vista Senior Living Community. They painted the fence around the home's backyard, making a special memorial look even better.
"Not everything you do has to be super big when you’re giving back to the community," Brainard said. "It’s not acts of service, it’s more acts of kindness that I think really makes a difference for people like this."
Loss is something the Mountain Vista community also knows too much about.
Like many senior living facilities, COVID made its way inside and spread. Now a memorial sits in the yard to remember those who didn’t make it.
"These residents were a family. They lived here. This was their home. They endured a lot. COVID came through literally like wildfire and we lost a lot of people very quickly. It was tough," said Lisa Schneider with Mountain Vista. "Our residents have been confined to a room for a good period of time. We’ve lost many people here at Mountain Vista. It’s been a tough couple of years, but this is a happy, feel-good moment for us."
The memorial was built by Woody's Landscape and Foothills Stone, two more community members that came together to honor the COVID victims.
"Our residents plant themselves in front of this window. They’re out here every day when the weather is nice. They cherish this view," Schneider said. "There's loss and tragedy, but overcoming as well. I think that’s the message we want to send out."
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