Samaria Crawford Brings High Tea, Conversation, and Hat Making to Mary Ryder Residents

Mary Ryder Home

Samaria Crawford

“What are we gonna do today, Miss Sam?”

This is the question Samaria Crawford gets asked by residents on most days in her position as a Residential Support Coordinator at Provident’s Mary Ryder Home (MRH).

In August, she answered with “Tea Party!”

Samaria had noticed that what MRH residents needed and wanted were activities that engaged them in thinking, creativity, and conversation with each other.

“We had been isolated so much with covid,” Samaria said. “They needed an intimate get-together where they could gather and communicate.”

So she planned an adult women’s tea party for the residents. They were served cakes and cookies, and they had tea, the hot kind and the iced variety. Samaria also knew the ladies liked to be creative, so she brought along some inexpensive supplies, and they went to work creating “High Tea Hats” out of plastic Solo cups.

During the tea party, Samaria encouraged the ladies to talk to each other about important issues in their lives and families. She calls this Woman Power.

“We talked about the beauty that comes from within,” she said.

Samaria has worked in healthcare for nine years. She has been a certified activity director for seven years and worked as a memory care director for four years. Earlier in her career, she was a hair stylist. She owned her own salon for 19 years and retains her cosmetology license.

She entered the mental health field after her mother was diagnosed with dementia. She became fascinated by how the brain functions, how a person could remember the long ago past but not what happened yesterday. She started taking classes to learn more and gradually moved into a new career, where she’s been ever since.

“I just love working with these ladies,” she said. “To see them engaged with others sends a spark through me. It tells me I’m doing my job. They’re not so isolated. They’re interacting with others and engaging socially. They want to tell me how their day was.”