Something near and dear to Country Meadows’ residents’ hearts is showing support for people all around the world.
While watching news coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, residents at several campuses expressed interest in learning more about the conflict as well as finding ways to show support.
At the Allentown campus, Director of Dynamic Living Danyell Horst, came up with an idea for residents to support people in Ukraine. “Sunflowers are Ukraine’s national flower—a symbol of peace,” she says. “Our residents gather to show solidarity for Ukraine by making and distributing sunflower pins and magnets with blue ribbons—the colors of Ukraine’s flag.”
On some campuses, residents gather to discuss their views on the war and learn more about the region’s history.
For some residents, the conflict hits home.
Barbara Hively lives at Country Meadows’ York-West campus. She was a missionary to Ukraine, travelling there four times in the 90s. While she and her fellow residents made sunflower pins she said, “I always stayed with the same family in Odessa every time I travelled to Ukraine. I am worried about their safety and well-being.”
In addition to supporting Ukraine, Dynamic Living directors provide numerous opportunities for resident purposeful service from baking and delivering dog biscuits to animal rescues, baking cookies to include in care packages sent to soldiers overseas, knitting and crocheting items for infants and cancer patients, raising money for the Alzheimer’s Association and volunteering time at local non-profit organizations.
“Our residents share their time and talents participating in a variety of volunteer work and community outreach for several causes and organizations,” says Kim Eichinger, Executive Director of Dynamic Living. “It gives them a sense of purpose and satisfaction knowing they are helping people and animals in need. Plus it encourages them to remain active and social.”
Many studies show that volunteering can reduce stress, improve mood, help prevent loneliness and lower the risk of developing high blood pressure. Basically, volunteering provides opportunities for older adults to stay active, making them feel better.
Another resident says, “I like to be busy. I think it is good [to have many volunteer opportunities], it gives us purpose,” she says with a little catch in her voice.