Every day, the employees of St. Antonine’s Old Age Home in KwaZulu Nata, South Africa, hand wash laundry for 60 Elders because they have no washer and dryer.
The Eden Alternative’s Carol Ende visited St. Antonine’s earlier this fall and met Sister Lucia, who oversees St. Antonine’s.
“Have you ever discovered you are in the presence of the most amazing person?” Carol wrote after the meeting. “You find yourself laughing, amazed and stunned as you listen to their stories of what they have overcome and accomplished. This is what happened to me when I met Sister Lucia in South Africa.”
Sister Lucia shared stories of the Elders’ need to perform rituals passed on from their ancestors, how showing kindness to others who have never experienced it made care partners find the compassion in their hearts to provide care, and about finding the strength to do the impossible, with no money, so a place called ‘home’ for 60 Elders could stay open because they had no other place to go.
The last story Sister Lucia told Carol was about how the employees were washing everything by hand outside, and she was a bit worried of what this would mean when cold, rainy weather came.
Not many people can relate to something like this, but Carol did. She’s worked in nursing homes where the washing machine broke and seen first hand how this little convenience we all take for granted ground the entire operation to a halt. It is a crisis of epic proportions in our world, but just part of daily life for St. Antonine’s home.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Of all the challenges in taking care of 60 elders who have nowhere else to go, doing laundry by hand shouldn’t be one of them. Carol and The Eden Alternative are determined to give St. Antonine’s the resources to buy a washer and dryer. They have started an IndieGogo campaign to raise the $11,500 it will take to make Sister Lucia’s dream come true.