My name is Rick Ferguson and my wife is Emma Ferguson. We’re both retired/sorta: I used to teach Chemistry and Emma is/was an R.N. We have been active “life coaches & counselors for over 30 years. It was 6 years ago, this coming September that a fire broke out in our apartment of 25 years while we were out of town. We lost everything including 6 of our 8 cats. The experience was very surreal to say the least. After the fire we relocated to an active senior center- or an apartment complex for 55+ only residents.
Even though we had gone through this life changing event we both were certain we were “supposed” to be at this particular complex. It was new and a fresh start to us as well as to many others there.
We discovered that is was very important to help build this community. Bring everyone together… but it would take time.
I grew up in Brooklyn, NY and have always held a magical place in my heart for Christmas. That time of the year had a texture, a flavor, an aroma which lifted your spirit. Even if you were in a bad mood you were somehow filled with this unseen breath of the holidays.
As we refitted our empty apartment from the fire, we started snatching up Christmas decorations on our daily trips to Goodwill and Salvation Army to help with the Yuletide decorations. It was fun. After the second year we started expanding down the hall and an odd thing started to happen: residents started to give us some of their decorations to help… And most importantly: residents would come up in the middle of the night just to spend some quiet time with Christmas and they started smiling!
Along the way we continued to pick up Christmas lights that we found at Goodwill and Salvation Army. It’s amazing what people get rid of. This past year we were able to decorate the entire 4th floor. If you watch the video it will give you some idea how much time and effort went into this. Several residents do help us now but it still takes us about 2 1/2-3weeks to put it all up. We start right after Halloween and hope to be done by Thanksgiving. This year were even interviewed by the local ABC affiliate TV station!
This Santa’s Wonderland project that we’ve started has helped so many people. You can see it in their eyes and smiles. I’m even asked, as early as July, when we’re starting to start decorating this year. Our apartment manager mentioned to us that we have helped so many people with these decorations. Even the owner of the property comes up every year to “check it out”. He loves it!
I have no idea how many reindeer , Santas, Elves Snowflakes, Snowmen etc. we have. We do have 12 Christmas Trees and 4 train sets and LOTS of Christmas Lights. And this is where we are right now.
We have to change over to the lower power consuming LED Christmas Lights this year. We popped the circuit breaker on our floor 4-5 times and that made me wonder if there was a better way to do this. LEDs are the way- they run cooler and consume very little electricity compared to the lights we now have and they are safer to use.
We did some measuring and we estimate that we need about 1500 feet (or so) of LEDs to switch over. We’ve already started to pick some up but we need help. We simply don’t have the money to do it alone. There is a zero budget for this. So can you help?
I’m setting a deadline of September 30 which will give me enough time to order the lights in time for our holiday decorating spree. Thanks for taking the time to read this and view my video.