In this week’s Make Your Mark, we recognize Older Americans Month, which coincidentally has the same theme in 2020. Through the Adopt-a-Grandfriend program at EagleCrest in Roseville, MN, residents not only make their mark on the lives of staff members, but also the littlest of ones – showing they are simply grand! 😊
At EagleCrest, residents and staff experience tight-knit community in challenging times — all because of some insightful planning before the COVID-19 crisis. Campus Pastor Kurt Linn lights up every time he uses the phrase “being intentional” to describe the new Adopt-a-Grandfriend program. Staff members at EagleCrest pair up with residents – in “adoption ceremonies” - calling themselves “Grandfriends.” We call it making your mark by demonstrating God’s love and reflecting the PHS core value of Christian ministry.
The idea evolved as a result of Kurt’s question: “What if we were to give every staff person – whether they’re working 10 or 40 hours a week – an opportunity to come alongside one resident and get to know their story?” With roughly 180 employees and 250 residents at EagleCrest, Kurt said, “There’s no reason why we couldn’t get every resident covered, if some staff pair up with more than one resident.” While the program is not mandatory, he explains, “the main idea is that we would be intentional for every precious life that’s on campus and that we get to know their stories.”
A grandfriend has made a difference in the lives of Becky Miller, Human Resources Manager, and her children. Becky writes, “The Adopt-a-Grandfriend program has been such a sweet ‘cup filler’ for staff, and I know it brightens the days of residents, too! My kiddos are even involved. Yesterday, my 7-year-old had a Facetime call with my adoptee, Dolly. When I told my son about it, he was SO excited. He talked her ear off for almost 20 minutes about various things and showed her how he does flips on the trampoline. It was adorable! We were saying our prayers last night and he told me, ‘Mommy, Facetiming with Dolly made my day.’ It was the sweetest. I love, love, love the program!”
Pastor Kurt concludes, “We have such amazing stories on our campuses. Each precious life, the history they’ve lived, the wisdom they have— it would be foolish to not tap into, learn and glean from that.”
A special thanks to the EagleCrest Grandfriends and all older Americans across 49 PHS communities and our nation, who make their marks by enriching us all with their wisdom, stories and love.
Do you know someone looking for more purpose in their work? Share the good news and the many opportunities to make a mark at www.preshomes.org/careers.
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