THE BASICS
Name: Hilary Tichota
Title: Community Relations Coordinator
How long have you been with Paths Elder Law? Almost 6 years
Describe yourself in one word: Creative

GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS

Can you describe the Paths Pen to Pal program for readers?
The Paths Pen to Pal program is to spread JOY through the mail. Designed for seniors to receive correspondence from others who are thinking of them. Not all are able to reply but enjoy receiving their JOYFUL Mail.

What inspired you to start the program?
Really when this started there was no “program” or “pals” in mind. It was just me and my two children. Through my work I meet several fascinating seniors, so many stories, so much history and wisdom. It needed to be shared.

Many do not receive mail or words of encouragement from anyone outside of their community. I had come across a sweet couple (Cliff 103 and Alice 101). I would visit them and listen to all their sweet stories. I wanted to do something for them, something that would show them that someone cares. My two children and I started writing them letters and sending them pictures. We found such joy in doing this we started adding seniors to our list and haven’t stopped.

As the “pals” list grew I found myself writing cards and letters day and night. I knew I couldn’t keep up with just myself and my 2 young children so I reached out to local schools and youth programs and asked if they would like to be a part of the program. We have also done field trips where the students had gone to senior communities and did crafts together. We are spreading JOY.

Do you do any other work in nursing homes?
My job is truly a family affair. Not only do I work with my father, but my children and husband also are able to get involved.
We do a little bit of everything. My children and I call bingo a few times a month. My son Triston likes to call out the numbers and my daughter ClaraBelle likes to hand out the prizes. We also do crafts, paint fingernails, make wreaths for Christmas fundraising, my husband has hung TV mounts for residents, and I organize donations and deliver them to the communities.

For Halloween we started doing “Trick-We-Treat” where we get dressed up and go to the communities handing out goodies to the seniors and the staff. It is so much fun! (Triston the dragon, ClaraBelle the Rainbow cloud.

What has been the response from people in the program?
Everyone seems to love the program. It is fun seeing people from all ages get excited about spreading JOY. Not only do the seniors enjoy receiving mail but many will respond. It makes me happy reading about their memories and getting some wonderful advice.


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How has the coronavirus pandemic effected the Pen to Pal program?
The Pen to Pal Program has partnered with several area schools and youth programs. When everything began shutting down that really hit the program hard. Those schools had provided so much JOYFUL mail that I alone could not keep up without them. So, I reached out to the community and simply asked for help and received it. Community members started filling the void left from school closings.

We also know you recently started making face masks for the community. How did that come about?
As part of my job at Paths Elder Law I would go to senior living communities and deliver Pen to Pal mail and brownies and other goodies. On March 10th my son and I were in a community calling bingo. At the end the administrator announced that the community would be closing all common areas and there would be no congregating. I didn’t know what to think. After that other communities followed in locking down. This changed so much about my job, I couldn’t be in these communities any longer.

I knew I still wanted to be able to help these senior communities but how? Facemasks! I have been sewing since before I can remember. I had recently been commissioned an upholstery job where I decided to buy myself a new sewing machine. Little did I know a month later I would be spending countless hours at that machine sewing thousands of masks. What a blessing!

Everyone needed a mask, seniors, caregivers, nurses, administrators and beyond. I started selling the masks “Pay what you can” and for every mask sold We would make a mask donation to senior communities or supporting organizations.

How many masks have you sold?
I have sold and donated over 3,000 masks, so far.


JUST FOR FUN
Tell us about your family.
I am married to Richard and we have two great kids, (Triston, 7 and ClaraBelle, 3), 3 cats (Batman, Girl Cat and Cupcake) and 2 Great Pyrenees (Copper and Bandit). We spend our time at home out in the yard, planting flowers, picking fruit and fishing.

What was your first job?
I actually worked for my father. I was in 8th grade and would answer calls, make copies, organize files, and seat clients. I have always enjoyed being in this industry working with seniors.

What’s something people would be surprised to learn about you?
I was a competitive & synchronized swimmer. Competing at Nationals and State competitions.

Morning or evening person?
Mornings. I get the most done while everyone else is asleep.

Coffee or cocktails?
Coca-cola 🙂

What’s your favorite thing about Lee’s Summit?
The community. Everyone is kind and willing to help others.


Advertisement

THE BASICS
Name: Hilary Tichota
Title: Community Relations Coordinator
How long have you been with Paths Elder Law? Almost 6 years
Describe yourself in one word: Creative

GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS
Can you describe the Paths Pen to Pal program for readers?
The Paths Pen to Pal program is to spread JOY through the mail. Designed for seniors to receive correspondence from others who are thinking of them. Not all are able to reply but enjoy receiving their JOYFUL Mail.
What inspired you to start the program?
Really when this started there was no “program” or “pals” in mind. It was just me and my two children. Through my work I meet several fascinating seniors, so many stories, so much history and wisdom. It needed to be shared.
Many do not receive mail or words of encouragement from anyone outside of their community. I had come across a sweet couple (Cliff 103 and Alice 101). I would visit them and listen to all their sweet stories. I wanted to do something for them, something that would show them that someone cares. My two children and I started writing them letters and sending them pictures. We found such joy in doing this we started adding seniors to our list and haven’t stopped.
As the “pals” list grew I found myself writing cards and letters day and night. I knew I couldn’t keep up with just myself and my 2 young children so I reached out to local schools and youth programs and asked if they would like to be a part of the program. We have also done field trips where the students had gone to senior communities and did crafts together. We are spreading JOY.

Do you do any other work in nursing homes?
My job is truly a family affair. Not only do I work with my father, but my children and husband also are able to get involved.
We do a little bit of everything. My children and I call bingo a few times a month. My son Triston likes to call out the numbers and my daughter ClaraBelle likes to hand out the prizes. We also do crafts, paint fingernails, make wreaths for Christmas fundraising, my husband has hung TV mounts for residents, and I organize donations and deliver them to the communities.
For Halloween we started doing “Trick-We-Treat” where we get dressed up and go to the communities handing out goodies to the seniors and the staff. It is so much fun! (Triston the dragon, ClaraBelle the Rainbow cloud.
What has been the response from people in the program?
Everyone seems to love the program. It is fun seeing people from all ages get excited about spreading JOY. Not only do the seniors enjoy receiving mail but many will respond. It makes me happy reading about their memories and getting some wonderful advice.

Advertisement

How has the coronavirus pandemic effected the Pen to Pal program?
The Pen to Pal Program has partnered with several area schools and youth programs. When everything began shutting down that really hit the program hard. Those schools had provided so much JOYFUL mail that I alone could not keep up without them. So, I reached out to the community and simply asked for help and received it. Community members started filling the void left from school closings.
We also know you recently started making face masks for the community. How did that come about?
As part of my job at Paths Elder Law I would go to senior living communities and deliver Pen to Pal mail and brownies and other goodies. On March 10th my son and I were in a community calling bingo. At the end the administrator announced that the community would be closing all common areas and there would be no congregating. I didn’t know what to think. After that other communities followed in locking down. This changed so much about my job, I couldn’t be in these communities any longer.
I knew I still wanted to be able to help these senior communities but how? Facemasks! I have been sewing since before I can remember. I had recently been commissioned an upholstery job where I decided to buy myself a new sewing machine. Little did I know a month later I would be spending countless hours at that machine sewing thousands of masks. What a blessing!
Everyone needed a mask, seniors, caregivers, nurses, administrators and beyond. I started selling the masks “Pay what you can” and for every mask sold We would make a mask donation to senior communities or supporting organizations.
How many masks have you sold?
I have sold and donated over 3,000 masks, so far.

JUST FOR FUN
Tell us about your family.
I am married to Richard and we have two great kids, (Triston, 7 and ClaraBelle, 3), 3 cats (Batman, Girl Cat and Cupcake) and 2 Great Pyrenees (Copper and Bandit). We spend our time at home out in the yard, planting flowers, picking fruit and fishing.
What was your first job?
I actually worked for my father. I was in 8th grade and would answer calls, make copies, organize files, and seat clients. I have always enjoyed being in this industry working with seniors.
What’s something people would be surprised to learn about you?
I was a competitive & synchronized swimmer. Competing at Nationals and State competitions.
Morning or evening person?
Mornings. I get the most done while everyone else is asleep.
Coffee or cocktails?
Coca-cola 🙂
What’s your favorite thing about Lee’s Summit?
The community. Everyone is kind and willing to help others.

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