By Michele Robertson
April 4th should have been the spring opening of the CARC Country Store and Greenhouse, but alas, with the state of the world today, it was postponed. The horticulture team had been hard at work preparing for the opening, and the greenhouse is full of a variety of beautiful plants ready for new homes. Many of you may be wondering what will happen with all these plants, and CARC, Inc. CEO Mark Schinnerer says his team has been hard at work developing a new website which will allow the public to purchase plants online. Once you make your purchase, you will be able to pick up your order later that day or the next, depending on what time you place your order. Look for this rollout to happen the week before Easter, right in time to plant the garden and decorate your porches with lush green and blooming plants. Follow their Facebook page for updates when the site is live and the link available. Also, on their Facebook page, you can find a post with a link to make a donation for fabric to be purchased, which will be made into face masks and isolation gowns. Seamstresses are on stand-by ready to work. Schinnerer says they do not have enough personal protective equipment (PPE) on campus to protect their health care workers from Covid-19. The group homes are licensed health care facilities which run in 24-hour shifts and all shifts need proper PPE. Schinnerer estimates they need about 200 masks for their facilities alone and is also working to help the local non-profit nursing homes, assisted living facilities and special needs homes get enough masks for their health care workers as well. If you would like to make a donation, follow the link within the post, or go to their website www.carcinc.org and click on the red ‘donate now’ button. Be sure to make a notation the donation is for making masks and gowns. When asked how CARC residents are adjusting to the current state of things, Schinnerer said they are a bit frustrated. “Our clients enjoy going out into the community, dining out, banking, shopping, going to the movies, etc.” he noted. Current restrictions placed on our state from the office of the Governor are keeping clients, like the rest of us, at home. “There is a bit of normalcy to the weekdays, but the weekends tend to be long,” he added. This time is hard on clients and their families, especially those family members that live here in town and are accustomed to visiting the campus on a regular basis. Caregivers are doing what they can to help in these situations, and apps like Facetime are useful in letting residents and family members stay connected with one another. “Clients still work on campus, but community work contracts have stopped for now,” added Schinnerer. Within their homes, as it is with the the rest of us, games, arts and crafts, tv, and hobbies help pass the time. Clients taking strolls on campus has increased with the stay at home instructions. At this time, the Farm House Bargain Store and the daycare are closed, and will remain so until the state orders are lifted. Schinnerer asks the community to “please refrain from coming onto the properties to protect our clients.” This includes the campus off Cherry Lane and Washington Ranch. The only exception to this will be when customers come to pick up their greenhouse orders. There will be a specific route to take when picking up plant orders from the greenhouse which will be off the access road to the north of the property.