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Houston County seniors, community come together for creative pandemic project

What started as coworkers needing a small project to help recover from COVID-19 side effects grew into much more than that.

HOUSTON COUNTY, Ga. — What started as two coworkers needing a small project to help recover from COVID-19 side effects grew into much more than that.

Now, seniors at Summer's Landing Assisted Living Facility and folks across Houston County are involved.

"I lost my sense of taste and smell. I had brain fog and fatigue," said Erin Jones.

Jones started a job at Summer's Landing in January 2020 just before the pandemic hit. Soon after, she was hit with COVID in March of that year.

Then, she then caught it again with her coworker later that year. They ended up experiencing multiple symptoms.

"You kind of feel a little crazy because there is a space or a gap in your thinking," she said about the "brain fog."

Jones and her coworker Alexandrea Guest were inspired to begin a project to help with their brain fog. 

It later transformed into an idea to turn a cabinet in the senior home where they work into a full-on aquarium. They quickly realized how much supplies they would need, so they called on the community to help -- and they answered.

"We did a call out for supplies and ended up with 15 to 16 bags of yarn that people purchased and were no longer using for their projects, so they gave it to us," said Jones.

People sent all types of supplies, including some Jones calls very expensive and hard to find.

A community effort transformed their crochet masterpiece into the aquarium it is today. 

Not only was the Houston County community involved in it, but also the seniors at the facility.

They all had something to look forward to, especially after the tough time they had with COVID-19.

"For the seniors, it gave them an opportunity to bond and come together as a combined project. Anytime you can come together and work as a community and work on the same project, it gives you a sense of cohesion, an opportunity to bond and put a smile on their face," Jones said.

"I just like looking at it, and I am fascinated with all the stuff they put in there," said Summer's Landing resident Ullainee Stokes.

Jones praised people in Houston County for being so generous in donating items and the seniors at the assisted living home who took so much time and care to complete the project.

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