Weekly Feature



2018-09-13 / Local News

‘LaRussa’s Legacy of Love’ brings joy, hope to those in need


Rachel LaRussa delivers handmade cards to residents at the Seneca Health Care Center in West Seneca. Her program, “LaRussa’s Legacy of Love,” is an outreach program for shut-ins, disabled and chronically ill residents, or anyone who is down on their luck and needs a pick-me-up. Rachel LaRussa delivers handmade cards to residents at the Seneca Health Care Center in West Seneca. Her program, “LaRussa’s Legacy of Love,” is an outreach program for shut-ins, disabled and chronically ill residents, or anyone who is down on their luck and needs a pick-me-up. Rachel LaRussa, a 14-year-old freshman at West Seneca East Senior High School, has created “LaRussa’s Legacy of Love,” an outreach program for shut-ins, disabled and chronically ill residents, or anyone who is down on their luck and needs a pick-me-up.

Rachel has been creating handmade cards with personalized inspirational messages with the goal of giving the recipient hope, love and encouragement to be strong. She said she wants to remind them that they are in her prayers, to keep their faith strong, and to let them know they are loved and have not been forgotten.

She said she was inspired to create this program because her own grandfather was a shut-in.

“Even though we were there every day caring for him, he still felt sad and lonely that no others had reached out to him. Not even from the church or any of his friends,” she said. “He spent many years volunteering in the community and church. He felt abandoned and alone.”

During the holidays, Meals on Wheels would send a small, handmade card personalizing it and wishing him a great holiday. Rachel said she witnessed this kindness and remembers how her grandfather would light up.

“He was so happy that someone from outside the family was so kind as to send him a pick-me-up,” she said.

Her grandfather would keep his cards on his kitchen table and look at them all the time, giving her the inspiration to begin the program.

She said she never wants anyone else to feel that way.

“Rachel has a huge heart for a young lady of 14 years old,” said her mother, Margie LaRussa.

Rachel has aligned herself with several nursing homes in the area and sent cards to parishioners of her church, friends and family. In August alone, she made more than 100 cards and has committed to making 200 cards each month, alternating the nursing homes to which they will be delivered.

She said she wants “LaRussa’s Legacy of Love” to bring joy to those who need it the most.

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