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Community Adopts Seniors with “Balloon Buddies”

Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 11:00 PM CST
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Grand Forks, N.D. (Valley News Live) - It’s no question, the pandemic has affected all of us. As COVID restrictions drag on, many of us are dragging as well.

A woman in Grand Forks is spreading joy in the best way she knows how.

Misti Kaufman opened a balloon shop in late March.  As everything was shutting down, she was setting up shop. She says she had her doubts, but her business is thriving. Lately, she’s been occupied with one project. She calls them “buddies”. The idea was to give them to nursing home residents, but it couldn’t be just a few.

With that, came the issue of how to pay for them. That’s where the community stepped in. This week, community members adopted all 65 residents at Tufte Manor and all 11 residents at Mapleview Memory Care.

For Misti, it’s personal. She spent a lot of time visiting Grandma in a Grand Forks nursing home. She says she’s grateful Grandma passed before COVID took hold, and she can imagine what joy a “buddy” would have brought.

So, Misti channels her energy into making more buddies, dozens and dozens, for someone else’s Grandma or Grandpa.

Her display was impressive on her first delivery day, and the reception from residents was even sweeter.

Misti is not stopping there. Now, she’s working on getting all 170 seniors at Valley Senior Living on Columbia adopted. That’s her most ambitious project yet. Once that’s done, she says, it’s on to the next location.

If you’d like to support Misti’s project and adopt a senior, click here.

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