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Welcome wagon

Committee helps new residents feel right at home

Created date

December 22nd, 2009

A group of friendly people living at Wind Crest have taken it upon themselves to personally greet every new neighbor. [caption id="attachment_7117" align="alignright" width="280" caption="Welcome Committee members Terri and Jim Nist (left) greet Jeanice and Daryl Milius, who recently moved to Wind Crest. (Photo by Beth Brandenburg)"][/caption] To Daryl and Jeanice Milius, who moved to Wind Crest at the end of 2009, the Welcome Committee s presence meant a lot. That first day here, the Welcome Committee members were the first set of smiling faces coming through the door, Mr. Milius says. There were so many people coming and going that day that it was tough to keep track of everyone but we remember the Welcome Committee; they really helped us feel at home.

How it works

Each committee member becomes a new resident s go-to. That person is responsible for greeting them, giving them all the important handouts including contact numbers and answering any questions they might have, says Norm Fox, who helped start the group. It was just what Mrs. Milius needed on moving day. They helped us take a break from all of the boxes. And after a day of moving, something small like that is definitely appreciated, she says. They were nice enough to give us all the information we needed, and they got us dinner. Most people are running around on that first day, so it s important that we get a good meal in them, Fox explains.

Filling a need

Clarence Burton believes the Welcome Committee unofficially began as soon as the community opened its doors. I was the first person to move in here, on June 6, 2007, he says, and each day after, as new neighbors moved in, we naturally became acquainted. One of the other first residents, Fox, thought it would be a great idea to formally help people get settled. [caption id="attachment_7110" align="alignright" width="280" caption="Jeanice and Daryl Milius show off their new apartment home. (Photo by Beth Brandenburg)"][/caption] I remember that first day when you move in, he says. You have lots of questions. So we thought that it might be nice to greet everyone, get them going, and give them a little information so they feel right at home. It s also about friendship, adds Burton. In two years, I ve seen over 630 residents move here, and I get to see new people move in each day. Everyone has a story, and I ve made many good friends through all of this. I feel blessed to know so many good people, and had I not moved to Wind Crest, I wouldn t have met them. It s a pleasure to serve on a committee where your only real job is to make new friends.

Getting mobilized

Members of the Welcome Committee meet each Monday morning, with an updated list of residents who are moving in. Then Fox assigns a committee member to each new resident to help them get acclimated. At the end of the day, the last thing the Welcome Committee tends to is making the new resident s bed. Moving can be a draining experience, so we just want to be sure our new neighbors have a bed they can fall into that first night, says Fox. We try not to stay too long. We just make the bed and leave so they can get a good night s rest.