Silver Spring, MD—The lives of people in need…both locally and thousands of miles away…will be brightened thanks to a pair of service projects performed by employees of Arbor Ridge, the extended care neighborhood of Riderwood retirement community.
The holiday generosity began as staff members of Arbor Ridge learned about the students of a Title 1 school in St. Mary's County, Maryland.
"During a conversation with a staff member, it was shared that most students of a certain second grade class would have a challenging holiday season because of economic and social hardships," stated Lori Hamilton, LNHA, Director of Extended Care at Riderwood. "As a team, we decided to put our ideas and energy into action to help these children."
On December 10, they initiated a drive to collect toys, stocking stuffers, school supplies and canned/dry food. A group of employees then sorted four containers of the donated items, filled stockings and wrapped presents. Just a week later, the gifts were personally delivered to the twenty-one students at the elementary school in St. Mary's County.
A second project undertaken in December will have a lasting impact over 7,500 miles away.
Arbor Ridge donated one hundred hospital beds to five medical centers in the African nations of The Gambia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Tanzania.
"These beds became available as a result of our capital replacement program. They were in good condition, and instead of disposing of them, we were inspired by our nurse management team to put them to good use," noted Ms. Hamilton.
Previously, Riderwood has worked with the Dangraie Family Organization (DFO), an international development and relief non-profit, to donate mattresses to hospitals in Africa.
"I am so proud of our employees at Arbor Ridge for living our mission and values. They looked beyond themselves for the good of others," said Ms. Hamilton.
"I recently read an article in the Huffington Post by Lisa Mae Brunson. She wrote that, during this time of year, we can either learn about consumerism or the magic of the holiday season. Her message hit home with me and served as a reminder of the old adage that there is a greater gift in giving than receiving," she said.
About Riderwood: Riderwood is one of eighteen continuing care retirement communities managed by Erickson Living. Located in Silver Spring, Maryland, the scenic 120-acre campus is home to more than 2,500 residents. Riderwood is the ideal greater Washington, D.C. retirement destination offering a true sense of community, convenience beyond compare and a sensible financial structure.