WARMINSTER, PA - Imagine a retirement community filled with anything but retirees! That's what it would have seemed like over a two-day period at Ann's Choice on April 9th and 10th as the community hosted its annual Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast to recognize approximately 700 resident volunteers who are engaged in a whole host of activities at Ann's Choice and throughout the outside local community.
In addition to being treated to a wonderful breakfast prepared by the Ann's Choice catering department, guests listened to Keynote Speaker Jeff Watson, director of operations for Erickson Living, the developer and manager of Ann's Choice.
Jeff has quite the experience when it comes to volunteerism himself - spending time working with youth groups, military members and seminarians throughout the world in countries such as Lebanon, Cyprus, Israel, Germany, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Ukraine and Russia. He has also helped provide aide to the hurricane-ravaged Texas Gulf Coast following Hurricane Ike and mentored young men in and out of prison.
Jeff spoke to Ann's Choice residents about how the makeup of a volunteer does not necessarily have to be boisterous, wealthy or even perfect. They just have to be willing to give of themselves - much like the Ann's Choice volunteers who have donated 73,937 hours of their valuable time working to better the lives of others and the community in 2013.
"Our residents who donate their time and talents take immense pride in the volunteer work that they do to help their friends and neighbors in need," Ann's Choice Executive Director Chris Donati said. "Whether it is creating stockings for soldiers who have lost limbs in battle, collecting clothing for children or donating to the many blood drives hosted by our community, the folks here take the work they do very seriously and yearn to make a difference wherever and whenever they can to improve the lives of others."
Ann's Choice Philanthropy Director Susan Abtouche said, "The residents volunteer in a variety of ways. It's easier if I say what they don't do than what they DO accomplish. They are involved in various partnerships with different organizations and make such a difference in the lives of so many people. We are so fortunate at Ann's Choice to have such an active group of volunteers who care."
Some of the projects that resident volunteers take part in include ongoing work with the YWCA of Bucks County where hundreds of holiday gifts are wrapped for children each holiday season, helping animals at the local shelters by providing clean linens and towels for them, a group called the "Knit Wits" who create stockings for soldiers who had limbs amputated during war, helping residents who live at Continuing Care at Ann's Choice and collecting baby clothing for the non-profit Child Home and Community.
About Ann's Choice: Ann's Choice is one of 17 continuing care retirement communities managed by Erickson Living. The scenic 103 acre campus is located in Warminster, Pennsylvania and is home to more than 2,000 residents. Ann's Choice is a greater Bucks County retirement destination offering an exciting alternative to typical retirement, convenience beyond compare and a sensible financial structure.
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