Sunday, November 26, 2000

Giving to others brings couple joy

Nursing home residents among beneficiaries

By Walt Schaefer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NORWOOD — Clayborn and Joyce Chinn don't mind working the Christmas season.

        “It's the Lord's work we do — the joy of giving. And as long as we have the ability, we'll keep doing it and taking on more, God willing” said Mrs. Chinn, who with her husband started Joy of Giving five years ago.

        From the homeless to the drug dependent to shut-ins, the Chinns have made the underprivileged their mission.

[photo] Working hard to brighten the holidays for the needy, Joyce and Clayborn Chinn collect donated goods each year.
(Tony Jones photo)
| ZOOM |
        “We like to bring a little joy to people during the Christmas season. Doing it is our Christmas,” Mrs. Chinn said.

        The Chinns tote personal hygiene products, cosmetics, teddy bears, food and sweets, Christmas pins and other items to 12 nursing homes and six nonprofit organizations — Tender Mercies, the Drop Inn Center, St. Francis-St. Joseph Catholic Worker House, the Full Gospel Mission, the Salvation Army and the AIDS Foundation.

        Of the nursing homes, 10 are in Cincinnati and two are in the Dry Ridge, Ky., area, where the Chinns have a country retreat away from their home on Hazel Avenue.

        “At the nursing homes, we dress as Mr. and Mrs. Claus,” said Mr. Chinn, 66, a retired General Electric machinist. ""We drop off the personal hygiene products, and let their staffs deliver those because some people are allergic to some things.”

        “But we always visit every room and take everyone a candy cane,” Mrs. Chinn said.

        Joy of Giving has become a year-round job of collecting and planning that keeps growing. The Chinns plan to add visits to two more nursing homes this year.

        “It all happens word-of-mouth. People hear about us and then we get calls,” Mrs. Chinn said.

        Between now and the first of the couple's nursing home visits on Dec. 4, the Chinn home will become a warehouse of donated goods.

        “We start in January, when I contact my suppliers — (Andrew) Jergens (Co.) provides lotions and soaps. We get some cosmetics from Avon and cookies from Shur-Good (Biscuit Co.),” she said.

        Crosset Co. fruits and vegetables and CoMac candies are also key suppliers.

        Marcia Spaeth, director of Tender Mercies in Over-the-Rhine, said: “Joyce and her group provide our residents with goodie bags — deodorants, toothbrushes and toothpaste, shampoo, razors for shaving — personal hygiene products most of us take for granted. But, these people here don't have the money to buy these necessities. This makes them feel so much better about themselves,” Ms. Spaeth said.

        Sue Koehler, activity director at Kenwood Terrace Care Center in Sycamore Township, said most nursing homes have residents who receive few or no visitors. The Chinns “talk to people and greet people and bring them gifts,” Ms. Koehler said. “They give their time.”

       To make donations to the Joy of Giving, call 351-4146. Donations will be picked up. No monetary donations are accepted.


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