Gateway: Living

Carolers to brighten the holidays of older adults on the Key Peninsula

The holiday season can be a difficult time for many people, especially for older adults who may not have family nearby to help brighten the season.

The Mustard Seed Project will combat that loneliness by hosting its sixth annual Random Acts of Caroling event to older adults located on the Key Peninsula.

The idea started with the project’s founder and executive director, Edie Morgan.

“It’s really fun for everyone who’s caroling, and it really means something to the people who receive (the caroling),” Morgan said.

For program administrator Amanda Walston, participating in the caroling has become a holiday tradition for her family.

“It’s everybody’s favorite thing to do around here,” she said. “It’s really full circle for me. It takes me back to when I was younger.”

The Mustard Seed Project was founded in 2006 by Morgan as a way to provide services to the older adults living on the Key Peninsula.

“Our goal is to meet the needs of our community elders and keep them here in the community for as long as possible,” she said.

The organization provides transportation, information and references to resources and an extensive community volunteer network that can help with chores and other household projects.

The organization has also partnered with Pierce County to help provide further access to services and resources for older adults.

Morgan, who has lived on the Key Peninsula since 1981, has a background in social work and longtime care.

“(The Key Peninsula) is such a wonderful, special place to live,” she said.

The Random Acts of Caroling is just one community outreach service the organization provides, but it’s one that provokes a strong emotional reaction in many of the recipients.

“It’s so amazing to see the response that people have,” Morgan said.

Some of the recipients are even moved to tears.

“People are touched at being remembered,” she said.

This year’s Random Acts of Caroling will take place beginning at 10 a.m. to about 3 p.m. Dec. 19.

Anyone interested in participating in the caroling, or who would like to nominate someone to receive caroling, can call the Mustard Seed Project at (253) 884-9814.

Andrea Haffly: 253-358-4155, @gateway_andrea