Program helps senior citizens cope with loneliness

CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) – There’s a new program in Cumberland County helping senior citizens living their final days in nursing homes with little to no visitors.

Bethel Assembly of God in Carlisle has a team of chaplains who spend time with anyone who might be lonely. The group now has a new member, Maybelle, a miniature horse.

“There is a percentage of people in every nursing home who have never had a visit from the outside because of complete abandonment or they have just outlived everyone,” said Rev. Chuck Kish, pastor of Bethel Assembly of God.

Maybelle doesn’t put on a performance or do any tricks. Her handler, Lindsey Jones, walks her around the room to greet everyone.

Jones thought Maybelle would be the perfect addition to the team after her son Levi got sick and she wanted to do something to make him feel better.

“Everything happens for a reason there is a reason that you are sick. It is not to be mean or cruel to you maybe the reason is you and I are going to train Maybelle,” Jones said.

The goal is to eventually bring Maybelle to hospitals to visit sick children and funerals and emergency scenes to comfort children.

If you would like to help sponsor the program, contact Rev. Kish at Bethel Assembly of God.

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