Origami paper garden brightens the window at Banff long-term care home

A local grade 4 student heard that residents at St. Martha’s Place were feeling lonely during the pandemic, so she started visiting and making them flowers for their solarium window.
By: Alison Larabie Chase
August 25, 2020
Lily Ichikawa. Photo: The Vital Beat.
Lily Ichikawa. Photo: The Vital Beat.

Lily Ichikawa is 10 and lives in Banff, Alberta. When she found out that the seniors living in St. Martha’s Place, a local long-term care home, were missing being able to visit with friends and family members, she decided to do something to try and help. She brought a stack of origami paper (used for the Japanese art of making objects from folded paper) and made signs to let the residents know what she was doing and asking what colour of flower they preferred.

Soon, with the help of a few friends, Lily’s flowers began to cover the window of the solarium at St. Martha’s, and the residents now know what’s up when she arrives. She still invites the seniors to choose their flower’s colour, though. In addition to tulips, Lily has added frogs, fish, butterflies, and more to the paper garden.

Dianne Hayashi, whose mother Toyo lives at St. Martha’s Place, says the residents look forward to the children’s visits and admire the art they make. Lily says she plans to continue her work for the duration of the pandemic. “It really made me happy when they smiled and waved at me,” she says of the response to her efforts.

Source: The Vital Beat

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