New Castle News

Local News

April 15, 2013

Family Matters: Edinburg man who has ‘adopted’ care home residents is first Person who Makes a Difference nominee

NEW CASTLE — Mahfouz “John” Abraham’s heart breaks when he hears residents at the Cedar Manor Personal Care Home say they have no family.

“I tell them, ‘yes, you sure do,’ ” he said. “I’m your family.”

And so he is.

The 56-year-old Abraham, who has “adopted” residents of the Edinburg care facility which is located on Route 422 across from his home, has been selected as a Person Who Makes a Difference in Lawrence County. He was nominated by his daughter, Jenna Abraham Klamer.

“I don’t think you could find a more giving person than my dad,” Klamer said. “He has been quietly doing this kind of thing for people for years, not because he ever wants any recognition. He just has a huge heart.”

For the past 13 years, Abraham has made a daily trek to Cedar Manor to check in on its residents. He always is ready to accommodate a request for a ride to a store, the bank, or anywhere else residents might need to go. He brings coffee and donuts, dinner and gifts, anything to make their days a little brighter.

“One of our ladies likes to drink chai and he’ll come in, hand her a cup and say, ‘here’s your chai,’ ” said Crystal Houk, who is head of staff at the home. “Who else would do that for someone they barely know?

“He knows what everyone likes and what makes them happy and he does his best to see that they get it. They light up when they see him. He’ll come over on Friday nights with pizza and he’ll sit with everyone and eat with them.

“John is just a good person,” she added. “He’s a good friend to everyone, residents and staff alike. There aren’t too many like him out there.”

Administrator Amanda Walker said simply seeing Abraham walk across the highway is a day-brightener for residents.

“On Valentine’s Day, he brought a rose to each female at the facility,” Walker said. “They were thrilled. Some of them don’t have family, or rarely get visitors. He has become their family.”

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