Local second grader offers holiday donation to residents of assisted living facility in Grayling

A local second grade student – Hazel MacIntosh Ertel, 7, of Grayling – recently made a special donation to The Brook, allowing staff members to provide a few extra holiday gifts to residents of the local assisted living facility.
Officials from The Brook said Ertel sent them a letter along with the donation. It reads: “Dear Brook: My name is Hazel and I took donations for you a looooooooooong time ago. I made a lemonade stand. I raised $106 dollars for you guys. I thought you would need it because there are a lot of people living there and lots of people who need things to stay healthy, safe, and comfortable. PS – Happy Holidays. From: Hazel MacIntosh Ertel.”
“The Brook of Grayling received the sweetest letter and a check for $106 from a Grayling seven-year-old. She raised money by doing a lemonade stand and sent the money to go toward things that residents at The Brook of Grayling might want/need. We took the money and purchased a fleece blanket, slippers, and chocolates for all 24 residents. Our manager made a copy of Hazel’s letter and gave it to each resident with their gift,” said a representative from The Brook. “The residents were so touched by her kindness and generosity.”
Hazel is the daughter of Abigail and Patrick Ertel of Grayling.
Patrick said Hazel’s original plan was to offer free lemonade, but it turned into a fundraising endeavor.
“(Hazel) wanted to create the lemonade stand and give lemonade away for free. She didn’t do any of this for any sort of recognition. She just wanted to make people happy on a hot summer day,” Patrick said. “We asked her what she would do if someone tried to pay. She said she’d donate the money.”
Hazel has a connection to The Brook through performing Christmas carols there and writing holiday letters to the residents for a school project, Patrick said.
“So now Hazel has this connection to the people who call The Brook home. It’s gratifying as a parent to see her come by this appreciation and empathy in an organic way in which we really had very little involvement,” Patrick said.
Patrick said people were quick to support the lemonade stand effort.
“She wrote the sign and set up the table and people were slamming on the brakes to stop. It had been such a hard spring with isolation and distancing that people seemed to crave something as gentle and welcoming as kids at a lemonade stand,” Patrick said.
Staff members at The Brook said the donation was especially welcome this year following several difficult months dealing with issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It has been a tough year for residents and staff due to the restrictions and limitations that came with COVID-19,” said Kenda Denlinger, The Brook Retirement Communities Community Liaison. “So, for a little girl to think of the residents and go to such lengths to bring them happiness warms our hearts. Hazel reminds us that there is a lot of good in the world.”

Crawford County Avalanche

Mailing Address
Box 490
Grayling, MI 49738

Phone: 989-348-6811
FAX: 989-348-6806
E-Mail: information@crawfordcountyavalanche.com

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