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Carnes Crossroads Newsletter
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The Power of Community at Carnes

April 22nd, 2020

Community is everything, and in these challenging times, we couldn’t be prouder to be part of a community that is coming together in so many beautiful ways. From small initiatives between neighbors to keep spirits high, to creative new ideas that will enhance our neighborhoods for years to come, this has been a time that has shown how the power of community can enhance lives not only during good times, but during the more difficult times as well.

Staying Connected

From early on when the City ordered parks and pools to be shut down, residents here quickly found innovative and social distancing-approved ways to replace their cherished gathering and recreational venues. Residents Debbie and Tony Diz volunteered to roam the neighborhoods at pre-scheduled times to capture and share family portraits on front porches.

“It’s hard times that bring people together,” says Tony. “Doing this gives the neighbors here an opportunity to get out and do something fun.”

The residents had great fun with the “Front Porch Project,” as seen in the galleries shared on the Carnes Crossroads Facebook page and on the private resident page!

Virtual Celebrations

Neighbors at Carnes mobilized to celebrate Easter virtually this year. A successful effort to replace the community’s popular Easter Egg Hunt on the Village Green with a Virtual Egg Hunt led to residents placing a total of 236 colored Easter eggs in their windows, including special “golden eggs.” Children could report the location of the golden eggs they found via a mobile app, which later qualified them for a drawing for some great prizes.

Meanwhile, arrangements were made for the Easter Bunny to make a surprise appearance at The Blake, the community’s assisted living facility, visiting residents virtually by waving through the windows. And at least one resident couldn’t resist setting out sanitized plastic eggs along the trails for children to discover.

“This was my favorite season with my daughter,” said Justina Gormley, who coordinated the clandestine egg hunt with her daughter. “I just wanted to keep the magic alive.”

Residents are also holding virtual happy hours and finding other ways to connect, including a new Friday night tradition: At 8 pm on Fridays, families go out on their porches and howl for 15 minutes as a therapeutic way to relieve stress – even some of the dogs join in on the action!

Staying Fit

Resident fitness guru Ryoko Abbott – whose Carnes Crossroads Wellness Club regularly gathers at the pool, Green Barn and neighborhood fit trails for fitness classes of all kinds – has been hosting free live yoga and fitness classes from her home via Zoom and on Facebook. Residents have come to rely on her enthusiasm and positivity and she’s made sure all skill levels and interests can participate, with classes like Total Body Conditioning, Gentle Yoga, Senior Exercise and Zumba Fitness.

Sending Love To Neighbors

Early on during the shutdown, families at Carnes provided encouragement to the residents living at The Blake, who have been unable to have visitors. Children gathered at a safe distance along the sidewalks surrounding The Blake to draw pictures and messages of love and support with sidewalk chalk. They also created handmade cards and craft kits and coordinated with Carnes resident Allison Christopher, who is Associate Executive Director at The Blake, to get them safely delivered to residents.

Meanwhile, some of our neighborhood artisans have been making face masks to give to those living and working at The Blake and healthcare providers at Roper St. Francis Berkeley Hospital. Other resident artisans and members of the Carnes Crossroads Artists Cooperative are making items to support and honor healthcare providers in our community.

And on April 7, World Health Day, residents mobilized for a tribute to healthcare workers by lighting candles and leaving messages of thanks and encouragement on their front porch. Resident Cynthia Thompson shared a video to showcase the community’s collective thanks:


Bottom line: Residents at Carnes Crossroads are not letting this pandemic get in the way of understanding the importance and benefits of loving where you live and supporting your neighbors. We love that our neighbors love where they live!