Kind Man Becomes Even Kinder In His Quest To Keep Families Connected
After he was able to say good-bye to his father from afar before he passed away, he wanted to make sure others could do the same.
John Lynch knows how important it is to stay connected with your loved ones, even if it's virtually.
Lynch recently had to say a final good-bye to his 92-year-old father via FaceTime before his dad passed away from a non-coronavirus related illness. Lynch's dad was staying at a nursing home in Atlanta, GA and because of the coronavirus restrictions, Lynch (who lives in New Jersey) wasn't able to visit in person.
Here's Lynch and his father, who he's honoring with his iPad project. GoFundMe
After his experience, Lynch learned that others in the same position have had to rely on the kindness of nurses and other staff members to share their personal cell phones with patients so that they can reach out to their family members.
He wanted to do something to help the elderly population stay connected, especially during a time when they may be feeling scared and isolated.
Lynch has already purchased 60 iPads with donations from his foundation. GoFundMe
Lynch already manages the "Lunch with Lynch Foundation," which focuses on providing learning experiences for children both in and out of the classroom. He decided he could do more to help others and started "Operation Connection: The iPad Project" to collect devices and donate them to local nursing homes and hospitals.
Lynch heads 'The Lunch with Lynch Foundation' that gets kids to take part in learning experiences in and out of the classroom. The Lunch with Lynch Foundation/Facebook
The first 20 iPads that the organization collected went to the Cape May Medical Center where they were distributed to patients and their families.
One of the people who received an iPad is Katie Hinchey, who says the donation is already greatly helping her keep in touch with her grandma, who was recently hospitalized.
"When grandmother was taken by ambulance, they took nothing with her," Hinchey told CBS News. "No phone. No list of numbers. No pigeon to carry messages. So, when I called her room this morning and the nurse asked if we could FaceTime – all my fears disappeared."
Thanks to donations of cash and gently used devices, the organization was able to collect another 40 iPads. Some will round out the donations to nursing stations at Cape May Medical Center and the rest will be delivered to local nursing homes and rehab centers.
The iPads are already helping families to keep in touch during the pandemic. The Lunch with Lynch Foundation/Facebook
Lynch has started a GoFundMe to continue accepting donations with the goal of raising enough money to purchase iPads for facilities in other states.
While Lynch's organization has helped, and will continue to help, so many people, on a personal level he's grateful for the opportunity to honor his father with his mission.
"I'd like to, in the memory of my father, he was 92 years old and died of old age and lived a great life, that I can honor people that are in the hospitals, that this is how they can communicate with their family members," he said.
Sounds like Lynch is doing just that – and so much more — to help families in his community stay connected during a tough time.