Primrose Retirement program volunteers

Volunteers in the Busy Bee program at Primrose Retirement Community of Mansfield make a variety of items for a number of agencies in the community.

MANSFIELD -- Volunteering was once a big part of life for some residents at the Primrose Retirement Community of Mansfield.

The spirit is still willing for many of those individuals, even if it's no longer easy due to physical limitations.

But Angela Gardner has figured out a bit of a workaround. The Life Enrichment Coordinator at Primrose has organized a program called Busy Bees.

Residents who want to participate can knit hats, create pet toys, make stroller blankets for babies, and more.

Busy Bee volunteers

Volunteers in the Busy Bee program at Primrose Retirement Community of Mansfield make a variety of items for a number of agencies in the community.

"This is the sixth year of the program," Gardner said. "We presented the blankets to Shanay Crawford, Third Street Family Health Services, who will then distribute them to The Help Me Grow program and Mom and Baby First program which are through The Ohio Department of Health."

Other activities have included making bookmarkers for the library, dog bandanas and hats for the homeless.

"When COVID hit, it set us back a bit," said Gardner, who has been at Primrose for nine years. "But this is an important program for our residents."

Gardner pointed out that not all Busy Bees need to have knitting skills. The facility has a loom and some residents have learned how to use it in making various items, including blankets. A bird bath for the Ohio Bird Sanctuary was another project the group completed.

This time of year the Busy Bees kick into gear as the holiday spirit grips Primrose. 

The facility is accepting donations and contributions of yarn from smoke-free homes. The Busy Bees will figure out how to best utilize it.

"We have residents that still want to contribute to the community," Gardner said.

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I've lived in Richland Co. since 1990, married here, our children were born here. This is home. I have two books published on a passion topic, Ohio high school football. Others: Buckeyes, Cavs, Bengals, Reds, History, Disney.