It has been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic took the world by storm. It has been a long road, but we are finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel as cases decline and vaccinations become more accessible.

As the state of Illinois slowly reopens and lifts certain restrictions, we are taking gradual steps towards normalcy while keeping Participants, guests and staff safe and healthy.

After receiving both rounds of the Pfizer vaccine earlier this year, some Participants are returning to Lambs Industries, our businesses and groundskeeping. Though they are not able to interact with the public for safety reasons, they are back doing what they love and working with staff to set new goals.

Participant bakers at the Sugar Maple Country Store quickly picked up the impressive skill of cookie decorating during their first week back on the job. They learned how to fill in the designs with icing to help staff keep up with the high cookie demand. We are so happy to have them back in the bakery and couldn’t be more proud of them for taking on a new challenge with a positive attitude.

It’s safe to say that things are looking up, but we wouldn’t be where we are today without our amazing staff. They continue to give Participants all the necessary tools to stay busy, happy and fulfilled as they wait to return to a life without pandemic restrictions.

Residential manager, Kelly Czyzowicz, knows how much Participants enjoy being outside and playing cornhole. She took it upon herself to build and paint a special Lambs Farm set for them to use all summer long.

Green-Field staff also wanted to break up the monotony of being at home for residents who live in our immediate care facility. They met for a brainstorm session and landed on the great idea of Spirit Week. Each day had a specific theme and activities that went with it. Participants had so much fun playing games at Field Day, taking part in a Crazy Hair Day contest, having a dance party for 80s Day, going on a treasure hunt on Pirate Day and getting facials and relaxing on Pajama Day.

After needing to cancel nearly every event in 2020, we put together a detailed plan to bring back Bunny Brunch, a special family tradition. In an effort to keep everyone safe and comfortable, the Magnolia Cafe & Bakery staggered seating times to avoid crowds and served guests a plated meal of
their choice. After brunch, families headed to the Visitors Center to get a goody bag, pick out a gift and meet the Easter Bunny.

The Easter Bunny met with each family separately and posed behind a protective shield. Children sat on a bench to take a socially distanced photo and most were smiling from ear to ear after finally being reunited with their favorite bunny.

It may have looked a bit different, but we are so grateful that we were able to bring back a fun and memorable event for our guests.

It may take a while before life can fully return to what it was before COVID-19, but we are headed in the right direction and will continue to do what is best for the men and women of Lambs Farm.