Whispering Pines Good Samaritan Society residents in Pine River receive iPad donation from Crow Wing Power

iPads can be used to Facetime, play games and order groceries among other things.

Pine River's Whispering Pines Good Samaritan Society Activities Director Jody Wilson works with Crow Wing Power Marketing Specialist Becky Borash to prep seven Ipads being donated to the Good Sam for resident use. Travis Grimler / Echo Journal

Crow Wing Power recently donated seven iPads to the Whispering Pines Good Samaritan Society in Pine River for residents' use.

"It just so happened when we checked with our IT department, they happened to have some iPads that we needed to repurpose," said Crow Wing Power Marketing Specialist Becky Borash. "And we decided, 'Perfect timing.' We happened to get the seven back from the field, they were relatively new, in really good shape. So it was really good timing that these came back in. And we had this thought of donating them to a care facility, especially during the COVID times."

" Research says they can improve memory and cognitive ability in seniors. It also helps them complete tasks faster."

—Jody Wilson.

"These are really good for the seniors to use because there's no mouse needed," said Good Sam Activities Director Jody Wilson. "It's also easy with their motor skills and visual abilities for them to do the games and connect with friends and social media."


The residents will be able to use the iPads for multiple purposes. They come pre-installed with Facetime and Zoom, Google Earth, solitaire and other apps for ordering groceries or listening to music.

"They are going to be great for residents if they are in quarantine or to give them something to do while they are laying in bed or here for therapy," Wilson said. "Our long-term residents will benefit from the games and keeping in touch with family or other interests they have. These iPads will really increase their independence and improve their life quality."

"I think it's going to be kind of a way for them to travel and get to see friends and see the homestead and maybe go to Paris with Google Earth and that kind of thing," Borash said. "So yeah, it feels really good and we're excited to go back in a couple months and see what they're using."

Research suggests that use of devices like these can improve cognitive functions by keeping residents' minds active.

"Research says they can improve memory and cognitive ability in seniors," Wilson said. "It also helps them complete tasks faster."

Residents have recently had scheduled access to staff devices for supervised Facetime visits with family. They have also used devices to attend church services virtually and buy groceries. There were only two available at that time, but now with seven dedicated devices, residents can Facetime with less supervision and sign out the devices for longer periods of time.

The seven devices being donated were used by linemen with Crow Wing Power. They were being decommissioned in favor of new devices. Upon being wiped of any company information, Borash helped set them up for use by residents and worked with Wilson on how to check out the devices and make sure everything is signed out and cleared after being returned. Borash may return to help train residents to use the devices.

"It's really wonderful," Borash said.


Travis Grimler is a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper in Pequot Lakes/Pine River. He may be reached at 218-855-5853 or

Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
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