Lorretta Barnes’ children and grandchildren continue a family tradition of giving
Lorretta Barnes was a former long term therapist of New Morning who blessed people with her calming presence and words of wisdom. She embraced her Native American heritage and was quick to take any opportunity to encourage others to embrace their heritage as well. Sadly, Lorretta passed away in 2013. During Loretta’s time with New Morning, she made it an annual practice to help a family with Christmas gifts. Some of these gifts were actually homemade by her family. And when Lorretta passed away, her children, son Greg and daughter-in-law Laura, took up the mantle of caring and thoughtfulness by continuing what Lorretta had started.
The following, written by Lorretta’s daughter-in-law Laura, is a description of how Lorretta’s legacy lives on in her children and grandchildren (Elan and Amanda):
“It’s a great honor to work with New Morning, an organization that is very close to our hearts. It all started 22 years ago, the late and charitable Lorretta Barnes, a therapist at New Morning was sadly weighted by families that could not afford their electric bills so their houses were bitterly cold. It was then, my family decided that we were going to make warm blankets for these families.
Our kids at the time were 2 and 4 years old and I thought it was important for them to take part in giving to those in need. They started making blankets by tying the ends of 2 pieces of warm, cozy fabric together. We also felt their families needed some gifts under their tree this time of year. We included jackets, shoes, warm clothes, toys, toothbrushes and gift card for the parents. This is now a tradition in our family that started 22 years ago. We have been fortunate enough to do this every year since 1999.
My then 2 and 4 year old kids are now 24 and 26 years old with their own families. For the last few years, our kids have taken part in this tradition by sponsoring their own families, providing gifts, food and clothes for the parents and children. This has been an absolute blessing for our family.
The wonderful Lorretta Barnes is no longer with us but she started a very important tradition for our family that has not only continued but grown into something so beautiful. Lara Anderson has also been instrumental in helping us continue this tradition. Every year we look forward to getting the list of what families would like for Christmas.
Thank you New Morning for giving us this opportunity to bless others. We love and cherish our community.”