New Haven’s Mary Wade Home holds parade for residents unable to visit family due to pandemic

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– The day before Thanksgiving is typically a time for people to spend a lot of time in cars. You could tell by the way a bunch of cars in New Haven were decorated Wednesday morning that they were not going on any ordinary road trip.

“It’s been a very challenging year, as we all know,” said David Hunter, President & CEO of New Haven’s Mary Wade Home. “We’re all struggling with how to celebrate Thanksgiving.”

So the Mary Wade home decided to throw a parade. That’s where all those cars come in. Folks decorated their cars and drove by, horns honking and lights flashing. They even got the Mayor to take part.

“It’s an opportunity to celebrate the work that Mary Wade is doing and to thank all the residents who are going through a very, very tough time,” said Mayor Justin Elicker (D-New Haven).

Those residents will be there in the home, but most are not going to anyone’s home. Mary Wade resident Rose-Marie LePre was asked if she is able to see any relatives this Thanksgiving.

“No,” she answered. “But that’s what we have to do.”

It is for their own safety. State records show Mary Wade lost 29 people back in the spring, and nobody wants a repeat of that. So the visits come at a distance.

“It’s what you make of it,” explained Mary Wade resident Sarah McLawrence. “This is your home away from home.”

And all the way from his home at the North Pole, Santa closed out the parade, just like he does for the one New York.

“Just fun for the residents, fun for the staff,” Hunter said. “I know it’s an opportunity for the families to be here with us in the way that they’re able to be.”

The Mayor also reminds everyone that if you are going to see elderly relatives this weekend, use Wednesday’s parade as an example and do your visiting from a safe distance and, preferably, outdoors.

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