Retirement Community Residents Go Back To School To Help Inner-City Elementary School

"There is something inspiring about seeing a group of people get together around a great cause," says Susan Johnson, a resident of The Heritage of Green Hills. Susan continues, "Our team of volunteers has boundless enthusiasm for this project!"

The project Susan is referencing is an effort by The Heritage’s residents to help out an elementary school in downtown Reading, Lauers Park. "We always get as much out of it as the children do. Then again, that’s the beauty of volunteering, it always feels that way."

Cheryl Anderson, the Director of Well By Design marvels, "What’s spectacular about the Heritage’s residents is that they are so self motivated! I really didn’t know a lot about this volunteer project until the residents had a meeting in The Tavern to get organized. There were so many residents volunteering you couldn’t help but notice." Cheryl continues, "Our work obsessed society tends to devalue people once they retire. After all, if you don’t work, what is it you do? As the book Blue Zones points out, the people who age the best are the ones who have a mission to fulfill or a role to play.  Volunteering gives our residents something to get charged up about. It’s just so much easier to get involved, to get connected when you live at a community like this."


Residents are volunteering in numerous ways. Heritage resident Dr. Cedric (Jim) Jimerson, who is a good friend of the school’s principal, Gordon Hoodak, and is the person that started the project  notes, "The residents bring so many talents to the table. My fellow resident and friend Dr. Louise Greenberg is really leading the effort, along with another close friend Kathy Wagner. These two ladies are spectacular. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are over 30 residents involved!"

Susan Johnson nods in agreement, "We have volunteers tutoring English, math and reading … mentoring … teaching photography … pulling cafeteria duty so that the teachers have more time. We have people acting as pen pals. And now, we’ve started to raise money for school supplies and clothes for the less fortunate."

Source: Press Release