Thoe family brings animals to Iola Living Assistance
By Holly Neumann
Jessica Thoe has been working at Iola Living Assistance for the past five years.
Outside of work, Jessica has a love for animals that she wanted to share with the residents.
“I started to bring in puppies and kittens here and they absolutely loved it,” she said. “It made so many people happy and they always wanted to see more.”
With the help of the Activity Department, it was decided to have a farm day in the courtyard of the facility.
Jessica and her husband Joe operate Thoe Farms, located just outside of Iola. With the help of their children Jaydlynn and Broc Billington and Ayden Lilli Thoe, the family brought a variety of animals to the facility on July 24.
“It was a big hit,” said Jessica.
The residents agreed.
“I miss seeing animals all the time,” said Betty Hafermann. “This was so nice.”
Virginia Olson got great hands on experience, holding a duck on her lap.
“I love this little duck,” she said. “This made my day.”
“Who knew a duck could be so loving,” added Activity Director Maureen Speck.
According to Speck, this event was special because many of the residents were farmers who raised families or grew up on a farm.
“Many have told of food rationing and how lucky they were to be able to grow food,” said Speck. “This event sparked many great memories. It is a great way to get everyone talking, laughing and remembering.”
She went on to say that she is always very excited and thankful when families like Jessica’s take the time and effort to brighten our resident’s day.
“Iola is a very strong community with great family support,” she said. “I am always looking for ways to bring the community in. At the end of the day if our residents are happy I’ve done my job”
For Jessica, her hopes are set on getting a few more animals such as a camel, zebra and possibly monkeys.
“My goal is to open a petting zoo to bring as much happiness to the community as it did the residents,” she said.