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Trinity volleyball serves at Providence of Palos Heights

PALOS HEIGHTS, Ill. (August 2015) — The Trinity Christian College women’s volleyball team took an afternoon off the court last week, and instead spent time cleaning and playing BINGO with residents at Providence of Palos Heights. Karliegh Krchmery, a marketing major from Merrionette Park, Ill., and the Trolls’ lone senior, said that the pre-season volunteer works allows the team to have fun and bond while giving back to the community. “As a Christian-based program, we want to get out and do what we can,” she said. “This year, we decided to come here, because it’s also a Christian place and seemed like a good fit.” The women organized books and movies, washed walls and tables in the kitchen, cleaned the patio for an upcoming barbecue, cleaned wheelchairs, and assisted residents for BINGO. “We got in some team bonding, too,” Krchmery said. “We had a lot of fun, and we’ll definitely do it again.” The team has already made plans with Providence Life Enrichment Director Diane Giglio to spend another afternoon volunteering next semester. “They certainly make our job a little easier, with their effort from start to finish,” Giglio said. “I’d like to thank them for the excellent job they […]

Arts in Mission:
Park Place artists give back

ELMHURST, Ill. (August 2015) — Oil and water don’t usually mix — but at Park Place of Elmhurst, oil paintings and watercolors have been brought together for a good cause. Four residents at the retirement community have offered their original artwork for Park Place’s new “Arts in Mission” program. The paintings are different media and different styles, but they have been collected for a common goal: they will be sold for the benefit of other seniors in need of care. The artists who contributed to the program — Hadley Pihl, Joyce Knuepfer, Jan Covey, and Walter Martin — have donated more than 50 paintings so far, some of which have been created right in the art studio at Park Place. “Park Place has given us residents a marvelous studio,” Hadley said — and now he wants to give back. It was his idea to deposit each dollar made from the sale of Arts in Mission paintings into the resident assistance fund, which covers the cost of care for Providence Life Services residents who have outlived their resources. “One day, Hadley stopped me in the hallway and said that he would like to sell his paintings, and donate 100 percent of […]

Coffee and conversation: Volunteers connect with residents at Providence of Zeeland

ZEELAND, Mich. (August 2015) — Ed and Hester Berghorst have been coming to the Providence of Zeeland coffee shop every Wednesday for more than eight years. They don’t make the trip just for their afternoon cup of joe — they volunteer, serving coffee and doughnuts to residents and visitors. But mostly, they take the time to chat with old friends and new faces alike. “It’s something to do, and we like it,” Ed said. “We like meeting the people.” Ed has lived in Zeeland all his life, and Hester is from next-door Holland. Lifelong friends and some family members of theirs have gone through Providence. In fact, Ed’s brother and sister-in-law were residents when Hester first started volunteering her time at the coffee shop. “The Berghorsts are very sweet and loving individuals,” said Julie Hutton, Life Enrichment Director. “They are the same age as our residents and are going through similar health issues. This allows them to connect with our residents on a whole different level. They are absolutely a blessing to our home.” The coffee shop at Providence is open from 2-4 p.m. each weekday, manned by different volunteers. “Volunteers are extremely valuable to our residents and our home,” […]

Amphicar makes a splash for Royal Park Place residents

ZEELAND, Mich. (July 2015) — She thought she was going for a boat ride, so Corry Hoekstra was a little surprised when her friends directed her into a car. She figured out her mix-up when the car drove straight across the lawn — and into Lake Macatawa. Hoekstra was riding in an Amphicar, which can be driven on land and in the water. It’s the only vehicle for which you need both auto and boat registration. “I thought it was a boat ride, and I was really excited about it,” Hoekstra said. “When we got there, I only saw a beautiful little car. But we drove it right into the lake! We could put our hands in the water; it was so much fun.” A group of fast friends The amphibious vehicle is owned by Ed Koops of Holland. His sister, Joyce Sluiter, wanted friends from her retirement community, Royal Park Place in Zeeland, to experience a ride in the unusual car. She mentioned the possibility to Hoekstra and two other women, Gert Gruppen, and Jean Sneller. It wasn’t the first time they had planned an outing together. “We’ve been friends since I moved in, a year and a half ago […]

Donation helps resident blossom at Emerald Meadows

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (July 2015) — Beautiful flowers have been blooming all summer at Emerald Meadows, thanks to a generous donation from Bos Greenhouse and Farms. Cheryl Edge, a foster daughter of Dorothy and the late Bill Bos, Sr., lives at the community. Before he passed away, Bos, Sr., told the family to give Edge – who has been diagnosed with dementia — anything she wanted. And since she had grown up around the flowers and loved the farm, the family decided it would be good for her to see something familiar. “We thought it would be good therapy for Cheryl,” said Gerald Mercer, whose wife, Deb, was also a foster daughter in the Bos family. “We thought it would be good for the other residents who enjoy flowers, too — it brightens their day.” Last year, it was Emerald Meadows staff members who filled the grounds with flowers, but this year, they left the job in the capable hands of the Bos and Mercer families. Gerald and his sisters did much of the planting, using more than 25 flats of donated flowers, in all colors and varieties. This was not the first donation Emerald Meadows received from Bos Greenhouse — they also provided […]