Katie Schlosberg is putting a new spin on a decade-long tradition that has become a Holiday Season staple at NuPath’s residence on Salem Street in Lynnfield.
All it involved was making a phone call.
“We’ve been donating to Toys for Tots for the past several years in an effort to give back to the community,” Schlosberg said, “This year, I wanted to see if (the Massachusetts State Police) could come by the house to pick it up.”
As a result, Officer Robert Lima, donned in his full uniform, paid a visit to the four men and women who call Salem Street their home to collect the dozens of toys they personally picked out.
“We usually don’t go to homes to pick the toys up…but Katie really wanted us to go, so we made the exception to pay them a visit,” he said.
Schlosberg made sure to get approval from everyone in the house before Trooper Lima would arrive. “Everyone in the house was on board,” she said. “They were so happy to hear he was coming by.”
Officer Lima spent an hour showing his gratitude for the men and women who graciously pitched in to purchase a wide array of presents, including board games, toys and various arts and crafts supplies.
“It was a great experience meeting Katie and all of the residents,” he said. “I saw how well they were taken care of and how well-spoken they are.”
Michelle Belliveau, NuPath’s Director of Residential Services, says the generosity of Schlosberg and the residents at Salem Street is a great example of NuPath’s dedication to the community.
“The town of Lynnfield has been so kind and gracious to us over the years,” she said. “We all felt like this is the perfect way to give back – by giving less fortunate children a little extra Holiday cheer.”
For Schlosberg, just seeing the glowing smiles on the men and women she supports at home made the experience that much more fulfilling.
“Knowing that they wanted to help people in need…it made my heart smile,” she said. “The looks and smiles on their faces were priceless…I was overwhelmed with joy.”
Officer Lima added, “It’s remarkable that even with their unique situations and challenges, they still think of ways to give back to their community.”
President/CEO Dan Harrison was also appreciative of the work everyone at Salem Street did and feels it contributes to the overall mission of the organization – To make life’s journey happier, healthier and more fulfilling for people living with disabilities.
“To see the people we support…and their eagerness to give back to the community really warms my heart,” he said. “If they are happy, it makes me happy knowing they understand and buy into the mission as much as our dedicated staff do.”
Schlosberg adds, “Having our men and women support the community makes our mission come full circle. They understand what we’re about and want to show their appreciation to the community, too!”
Officer Lima’s visit to Salem Street was also mentioned on the Facebook page on the Massachusetts State Police, where it has over 450 likes and has been shared more than 20 times as of Monday afternoon.
Even though she appreciates the recognition, Schlosberg has kept a humble, symbiotic approach to the work that Belliveau, who has roots at Salem Street, started nearly 10 years ago.
“We help to support the men and women who live here and they, in turn, willingly give back to the community. It’s truly a win-win for all of us.”