It has been 10 years since Mississippi Methodist Senior Services in Tupelo, Miss., opened the first Green House project in the country. Throughout May, The Green House Project will celebrate this pioneering organization, and the revolution that they sparked. On Sunday, May 5, there will be a block party to celebrate this milestone, with Green House team members and Dr. Bill Thomas in attendance. Follow us on twitter at #Tupelo10 and join the conversation.
Steve McAlilly, the visionary leader who believed in The Green House model and brought it to his organization tells a story about its impact:
There was a retired methodist preacher who had Alzheimer’s. He lived in our Alzheimer’s unit in the old ward. He had an eight-year-old grandson who refused to come see him in that environment. His parents couldn’t get him to go see his grandaddy. His disease was so advanced he wasn’t awake but 4 hours a day. But he was one of the first people in the world to move into green house. People would ask what is he going to get out of it? He’s barely awake, has to be fed. But we believed that bringing him to the hearth, to the supper table, something would get through and it would make a difference.
So every day the Shahbazim would get him dressed and bring him to the table. Before too long he was awake again, and his grandson would come back to see him. He came to see his grandaddy so much he knew the name of every elder and every Shahbaz in the house. If that’s the only thing we did we can say it’s worth it. Whatever sweat and tears we had it was worth it.