Lights, wreaths and other decor now deck the halls of Cypress Assisted Living in Anacortes, all given by community members after Activities Director Michael Matson put out a call for donations to help cheer up the socially distanced residents.

“They’re all in it together, and our staff is really compassionate,” Matson said.

The facility received over 400 cards to give to the 40 residents, as well as boxes of chocolates and other treats, Matson said. One person sent postcards from San Diego.

Another person is buying a prime rib dinner for all residents and staff.

Matson said he was pleased to receive plenty of lights so the hallways of the center are bright and cheery, as well as Christmas trees for common areas.

Matson said much of the activities, especially group and outdoor activities, have been canceled this year, including a yearly wreath-making fundraiser and a harvest festival, which included children visiting the residents.

The last outing was almost a year ago now, Matson said. Since then, he’s been continuing to produce a personal, daily newsletter for residents, helping to organize Zoom conversations and even setting up virtual karaoke.

“It’s crazy times to be an activities director,” Matson said.

“It’s going to be a hard Christmas since they can’t see family, but they’re safe and we’re going to spoil them,” he said.

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