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Southern Belles Are Sweet on Masonic Home Children

Once every three months, 21 ladies and one gentleman don their red hats, board a bus bound for Oxford, and shower little faces with whatever they have to give. The gifts are inexpensive, made by hand.  The time together is priceless, each visit a lesson in unconditional love and the healing nature of intergenerational bonds.

For the 22 seniors at Carillon Assisted Living of Durham who call themselves the Southern Belles of Carillon, the children of the Masonic Home orphanage at Oxford make them feel needed in a way that only a child can. For the kids at the Masonic Home, the seniors make them feel loved and cherished as only a grandparent can.

“There is nothing like seeing their faces, the little ones right up through the teenagers, to make you feel so…oh, your heart just goes out to them,” says Rosalie Landon, a member of the Southern Belles of Carillon.  “They are so appreciative of whatever we do for them, and just for the time we spend with them.”

Over the past year, the Belles have taken the children brightly colored gift bags filled with school supplies, made them decorative flip-flops and personalized piggy banks.  Most recently, they shared a summer picnic of potato salad, deviled eggs, macaroni and cheese and cupcakes — all of which was made by the Belles themselves.

Like Landon, many of the Belles have limited mobility. If any of them ever did cook a meal for 150 people, those days are long since past. Yet, peeling 40 pounds of potatoes elicited not one complaint, according to Landon.

“It was not easy, but we worked as a team for those kids,” she said. “We were exhausted but so, so happy when it was all said and done.”

Posted in Sage Stories on September 2, 2014

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