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Rockford couple makes tough choice to not gather with family this Thanksgiving

In light of the pandemic, Jackie and Richard Mansen say safety is their top priority this holiday.
Published: Nov. 26, 2020 at 9:37 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Jackie and Richard Mansen live at Fairhaven Christian Retirement Center in Rockford, and say this is their first ever Thanksgiving not being with family.

“We want our kids to stay safe, so we will get to be with them another time,” said Jackie Mansen.

As COVID-19 cases skyrocket across the United States, the Mansens say safety is their top priority.

“We’re very concerned,” said Jackie Mansen.

Despite being away from family, the couple utilized technology to help join in on turkey day celebrations.

“We’re texting a lot we’ve had a Zoom call with 30 people and then we talked on the phones and video Facetime,” said Jackie and Richard.

Wesley Willows Assisted Living Facility also utilized video calls asking families of residents to send short videos with warm wishes to their loved ones.

“Really just say Happy Thanksgiving and kind of share what they’re grateful for for their family members, so then we can go to the residents share that video and then we’ll have the residents send one back,” said Wesley Willows Director of Experience Erica Leigh.

The Mansens say despite the circumstances there’s still a lot to smile about.

“We are making the best of it, and we’ll talk to the kids more today sure it’s been great we’ve got so much to be thankful for,” said Jackie and Richard.

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