FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Christie Hayes, also known as “Real Estate Bird,” is a realtor in the Fairmont area. Wednesday evening she put together 60 birdhouses to be donated to Fairmont Health and Rehabilitation Center.
Hayes had the idea after speaking to her grandmother who lives at the nursing home. Her grandmother told her the home was under a full lockdown, and they couldn’t leave their rooms for anything; not even to eat.
Hayes had put together a birdhouse for her grandmother months ago for her to watch out her window, and her grandmother and roommate loved it.
“During COVID-19, she called me and said her and her roommate don’t know what they would do all day if they didn’t have the bird feeder,” said Hayes. “So I decided to make sure everyone there got to have that same joy, especially during this time.”
Hayes said she knows that some of the residents at the center don’t have visitors even when the home is open. She brought one birdhouse for every single window at the home so every resident can have a reason to smile, and have that connection with nature well after COVID-19 passes.
Some of the windows already had houses outside of them, and Hayes refilled each one of them with more bird food.
“My family nickname has always been ‘bird’ or ‘birdy.’ I just feel like my whole life, I was whistling, singing, and happy, and I think that’s just what birds do,” said Hayes. “I just want to keep spreading this joy, so I have about 20 left, and I’m going to call up the other nursing home, take them over and donate them as well.”
Hayes is working with the “spread hearts, not hands” initiative while COVID-19 restrictions are still in effect. She hopes to be able to put together enough birdhouses for each window at several more nursing homes across north central West Virginia.
Hayes said one birdhouse is about $10. For more information about how to donate, you can call 304-288-2417.