Holiday Retirement residents lend a creative hand to the homeless
Holiday Retirement residents throughout the country find a sense of meaning and dedication in giving back to their communities through a range of opportunities offered through Holiday’s Senior Serving Seniors and Society program.
Two of Holiday’s independent senior living communities recently launched long-term volunteer programs that aim to build a better community through helping the homeless.
Texas seniors take innovative approach to helping homeless
Everything’s bigger in Texas—including the hearts of residents at Holiday Retirement’s Englewood Estates in Austin, Texas. These seniors were so inspired by a recent tour of Community First! Village, a community that provides affordable, permanent housing for the disabled, chronically homeless in Central Texas, that they are planning a trip back to volunteer!
Community First! Village lies on 27 acres and offers trailers, mobile homes and micro-homes to area individuals who find themselves homeless. In May 2017, Englewood Estates residents toured the community, which hosts a lush vegetable garden, chicken coops, an outdoor movie theater and community market. Residents of Community First! Village, many of whom are older adults with disabilities, work on the property, tending to the garden, collecting fresh eggs from the chickens and running the community market.
Vykkii Langley, Englewood Estates’ enrichment coordinator, said residents were so excited by Community First! Village’s innovative approach to addressing homelessness on a recent tour that they specifically requested to volunteer at the community the next time they visit.
“We’re currently planning a trip later this month to Community First! Village where our residents will volunteer in the afternoon and enjoy a community dinner in the evening with Community First! Village residents,” Langley said.
Giving back in California starts with S for these seniors
Earlier this year, residents at Holiday Retirement’s Golden Oaks senior living community in Yucaipa, California, merged hobbies with service. Golden Oaks residents recruited their popular knitting group to make socks and hats for the homeless. The group also began a monthly rotating “soup and soap” activity, where they make soup for the homeless one month, and soap the next. While soup and soap may seem like an unlikely pairing, both are important contributions to the homeless community in their area, because there is a large need for both food and personal care product donations.
Residents making soup have fun experimenting with new recipes, two favorites being Italian wedding soup and a resident-created beef and vegetable stew. Once the volunteers are happy with their recipe, they fill up to three crockpots full of soup and deliver them to a community organization that feeds the homeless.
The organization that feeds Yucaipa’s most vulnerable citizens also provides them a place to bathe, along with toiletries. The soap that Golden Oaks residents make every other month is placed in individual bags, so each person has access to his or her own bar of soap.
As Sheryl Jerome, enrichment coordinator at Golden Oaks explained, “Residents enjoy serving their community, and the activity gives them a sense of accomplishment and purpose.”
Find a community near you to learn how to get involved in one of the many community service projects at Holiday!