Generous Texans make social distancing garden parties possible for residents during pandemic

Generous Texans make social distancing garden parties possible for residents during pandemic

Editor's Note: This story pertains to Good Samaritan - Lake Forest Village. The location was incorrectly identified as Good Samaritan - Denton Village in the June 2020 edition of The Five.

Denton, Texas – Ginny Gross, director of nursing, and Cathleen Coil, activity director, know residents of Good Samaritan – Lake Forest Village miss their families. The COVID-19 pandemic has made contact with loved ones more challenging and led to feelings of isolation and loneliness. One day, they looked out their windows at the facility’s Healing Garden and inspiration struck.

“Why not have a garden party in this beautiful space?” Gross said. “We could tape off spaces that were 6 feet apart. We could serve staggered meals for residents. We’re still on lockdown, and we knew this could really help.”

The Healing Garden at Good Samaritan – Lake Forest Village lives up to its name. Bees buzz among the flowers. Gentle breezes invite lingering along the shady walkways. The peaceful space exists thanks to a generous grant from the Denton Benefit League and matching donations from community members. And peace is much needed during a pandemic.

“Why not have a garden party in this beautiful space?” Ginny Gross, director of nursing, said.

“Mr. H*, one of our residents, was overjoyed,” Gross said. “Just being outside with other people and seeing the beauty of the lake really lifted his spirits.” Gross said other staff noted the changes in mood among all 10 of the residents who attended the first event. She plans to hold more events this year so more residents can attend.

“One of the original donors was so excited about this and wished she could attend the party herself,” said Laura Wells, donor engagement director. “I’m looking forward to the day when the visitor restrictions are lifted, and we can all be together again. Then she can see the difference she is making with her own eyes.”

Wells says that the Society is still putting the finishing touches on the garden after a year’s worth of work. The location still needs support for ongoing garden upkeep.

“Every day, I get comments about how peaceful the space is and how great it looks,” Wells says. “Your support allows us to get residents beyond the walls and into tranquility, peace and healing. There are endless opportunities for truly enriching lives here.”


Supporting the Healing Garden at Good Samaritan – Lake Forest Village is easy when you give online. You can also support the Emerging Threats Fund, which helps ensure that the Society has the resources necessary to swiftly detect, prevent and treat health care threats like the COVID-19 outbreak.  100% of your gifts stay local, protecting resident well-being during these uncertain times.

*Initials are used to protect the privacy of Society residents.

Information in this article was accurate when it was posted. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, scientific understanding and guidelines may have changed since the original publication date. Read more about the COVID-19 vaccines.

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