God Cares Ministry: A Great Time at the Summer Picnic

The ‘God Cares Ministry’ summer picnic is an annual highlight for hundreds of nursing home residents in the area.

God Cares Ministry is a special mission-based organization dedicated to supporting folks in long-term care facilities.

Based in Avon Lake, God Cares was started in 1994 and has since made a difference in the lives of thousands. Its purpose is to find and support Christian volunteers for nursing home ministry.

An annual highlight for God Cares Ministry is its summer picnic. This year’s picnic was held on July 13 at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Westlake.

The place was hopping with fun, food and music as senior center busses from all over the area packed the parking lot, bringing hundreds of guests to the event.

Bill Goodrich, President and Founder of the ministry, welcomed guests and honored the legacy of John R. Palffy and family, who started the picnic 17 years ago.

The Palffy family with Bill and Cathy Goodrich (R).

“There was a man who lived to be 85 years old,” said Bill. “After his funeral service, his family gave a gift to a small organization requesting they hold a picnic for the residents of a nearby senior care home.”

That first picnic hosted 25 guests. “They had a great time!” said Bill. “It was a wonderful time of being away from the care facility and together with friends…..

“It was so good that the son of this deceased man got an idea: What if we hold a picnic every year? What if we invite all the family members to participate in the volunteering and the funding, and what if we invite our closest friend and people from other senior care facilities throughout our community? Wouldn’t that be great?”

The idea took hold, and this year – 17 years later – God Cares has “had the privilege of hosting over 1200 residents and staff at these picnics.”

Christy Adkins, O’Neill Healthcare Bay Village, Eve Wilhelmi, Rose Senior Living Avon, Leslie Barton, Bickford Senior Living, Tammy Danilovic, Normandy Care Center.

Bill presented the Palffy family with a plaque at this year’s picnic.

“In honor and memory of John R. Palffy, Jr.’s family and friends, I would like to present this plaque,” said Bill. “It reads: ‘Friends, I want to encourage you to leave a legacy of love. One kind deed every day for another person, without any expectation of a reward….May the Lord cause your seeds of loving kindness to grow and bear much good fruit.”

To learn more, please visit www.GodCaresMinistry.com.

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