The Power of Volunteering: Giving of Themselves in the New Year
As the calendar flips to a new year, the residents of Presbyterian Senior Living communities find themselves deeply immersed in volunteerism. Giving of themselves not only enriches the lives of others but becomes a powerful catalyst for personal growth and fulfillment.
Numerous Presbyterian Senior Living residents are making an impact while growing personally through volunteerism. Ann Herche of Quincy Village, Carole Scanlon of Pine Run Village, and Todd Johnson of Green Ridge Village stand out among them.
Managing the Quincy Village Thrift Shop
Research shows volunteering promotes social connections and a sense of belonging, creating a supportive network that enhances mental well-being and reduces feelings of isolation.
For Ann Herche, volunteering is not just a pastime; it's a calling. As the manager of the Quincy Village Thrift Shop, Ann’s journey into the world of volunteerism unfolded unexpectedly.
“Three years ago, the manager needed to step back and I was asked to take over. It turned out to be a lot more hours than I thought it would be, but it’s a lot of work we do with joy,” she says.
The thrift shop, with Ann at the helm, engages over a dozen volunteers who work seamlessly as a team.
In addition to finding enjoyment in managing the thrift store, Ann has forged social connections in the community through volunteering and other activities. All help her stay active and engaged, a key to maintaining overall wellness for seniors.
Orchestrating harmony at Pine Run Village
Volunteering fosters a sense of purpose and fulfillment, providing individuals with a meaningful way to contribute to their communities and make a positive impact on the lives of fellow residents.
Opportunities for skill development and personal growth are a regular part of volunteering, allowing individuals to explore new interests, refine existing talents, and gain a sense of accomplishment through their contributions.
That’s true for Carole Scanlon, whose life at Pine Run Village is one of musical notes and community harmony. As the coordinator of Village Voices, a group of more than two dozen people that presents four to five concerts each spring and fall, Carole’s commitment to her role extends beyond the music.
“It’s a full-time thing, not just the singing but producing the concerts. I have to support the outside director and coordinate everything,” she says.
What sets Pine Run Village apart for Carole is its rich heritage.
“We’re carrying on the legacy of the moxie that the original villagers gave us. Here, you never want for friendship or companionship; it’s threaded through the connections and associations,” she says.
Her involvement in the chorus allows her to witness personal transformations as residents discover hidden talents and foster a sense of community through shared passions.
Jack of all trades and tracks at Green Ridge Village
Todd Johnson didn’t move to Green Ridge Village with the intention of becoming a multifaceted volunteer. But soon after he settled in, the village’s model railroading club began providing a unique avenue for the pursuit of a longtime passion.
“I’ve been a follower of model railroading for many years. When it came time to come to Green Ridge, I was going to get myself involved in that,” Todd says.
When other club members learned that Todd had a background in electrical work, he volunteered to update the electrical framework of the entire room-sized train track.
His volunteerism didn’t stop with the model railroad. Todd soon found himself helping out at the woodworking shop and assisting fellow residents with their audio-visual frustrations, installing televisions, sound systems, and computers around the campus.
Reflecting on his volunteer work, Todd highlights the supportive and encouraging environment at Green Ridge Village. Whether he’s helping with technical setups, updating the model railroad, or cleaning up the woodshop, Todd underscores the community’s commitment to fostering a sense of independence and continuous learning.
For Todd, Carole, and Ann, staying engaged and embracing new chances to volunteer have provided the perfect retirement opportunity to explore passions and lend a helping hand. Volunteering has enhanced their lives and the lives of thousands of fellow Presbyterian Senior Living residents as they’ve forged friendships, developed new skills and honed long-established ones, and continued to make a positive impact on the world around them.
At Presbyterian Senior Living, embracing opportunities to give of themselves not only contributes to the well-being of the community but transforms the individuals involved. The heart of a fulfilling retirement lies in the shared experiences, laughter, and meaningful connections forged through the simple yet rich act of volunteering.
About Presbyterian Senior Living
PSL is a mission-driven organization that lives our values of integrity, mutual respect, creative curiosity, and connectedness. Building on a legacy of 96 years, we provide residential and care services to more than 6,000 seniors in 27 locations across the mid-Atlantic region of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio and Delaware.
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