By John Kelly, columnist
The Washington Post
December 22, 2015
A group of elderly residents is seated at a table. A small, wizened woman dressed neatly in a skirt and sweater rises. “Look at that little boy,” she says. “He’s thinking, ‘What kind of old people are these?’ ”
She chuckles, then says, “We’ll all be there sometime.”
Old, she means.
I ask her age. “Old enough to vote,” she answers with a sly smile. She says she has grandchildren. And she’s thinking that her mother may visit, which seems unlikely, given that — as I learn later — she’s 94.
“It doesn’t matter how much Alzheimer’s a person has, they love children,” says Celeste Brooks, director of therapeutic activities at the nursing home, Stoddard Baptist Global Care at Washington Center for Aging Services.
The little boy and his mother — along with members of eight other families, whose children range from toddlers to teenagers — are there to sing Christmas carols. It’s all because of the remarkable Dodie Brady and a charity she runs, Global Harmony Through Personal Excellence.
For years Dodie, 68, has been inviting clients of a District charity, Community of Hope, to join her and her friends as they visit the nursing home. Community of Hope has two apartment buildings — Hope House in Southeast Washington and Girard Street in Northwest — that offer sanctuary to families in desperate need of a home, some of which are headed by parents dealing with substance abuse.
“Share yourselves,” Dodie said before they moved through the nursing home. “Share your goodness. Some of the residents might be sad or lonely. You’re going to be their bright spot for the day. You’re going to cheer them up.”
Story continued in The Washington Post.