At Plantation Village, many of our programs and services focus on the importance of the “Eight Dimensions of Wellness,” a comprehensive, overarching approach that impacts everything we do and offer.
The Eight Dimensions of Wellness is like a roadmap to happiness through achieving a healthy balance in eight key aspects: Social, Emotional, Environmental, Financial, Intellectual, Occupational, Physical and Spiritual. We have found that volunteer work is one of the most effective ways of connecting our residents to those eight dimensions.
And no study or data could illustrate the benefits of volunteer work more effectively than our residents themselves – people who selflessly donate their time and efforts in service to the community.
Ron and Ginny Casterline have a seemingly endless supply of energy and enthusiasm for volunteer work. As board members of the Auxiliary for The Davis Community - an adjacent facility with assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation options - they work to make everything better for the staff, residents and visitors.
In his role as chair of the Projects Committee, Ron seeks out opportunities to beautify our community and make it a better place to live, whether it’s through the placement of benches and planting flowers or working to preserve our four libraries. His efforts have been instrumental in the recent renovation of the greenhouse at Davis and complement Ginny’s work as Publicity Chair nicely.
Drafting the community newsletter, keeping the calendar updated and maintaining the gift shop inventory would be enough to keep anyone busy but Ginny also provides critical behind-the-scenes support for our annual Tree of Life fundraiser. She even hand-delivers the newsletter to get in some walking and connect with friends and neighbors. Ron and Ginny’s proudest achievement, however, is their work to secure iPods for the memory care facility’s residents, since music therapy has been proven to elicit a positive impact on those facing memory challenges.
There could not be a better illustration of service to the community than preparing and passing out meals at a soup kitchen. This is what our local hero Frances Parker has done every day for 20 years at the Good Shepherd Center near Greenfield Lake in Wilmington. Yes, you read that right! Every day for 20 years.
Nancy Schein is quick to point out how volunteer work has helped her fulfill the social, emotional and spiritual aspects of the eight dimensions of wellness. Informally known as “Nancy the Knitter,” she is a highly recognizable face at Rachel Freeman School of Engineering in Wilmington. That’s because Nancy led a drive in 2015 to donate more than 400 handcrafted hats to children at Freeman. She upped the ante in 2016 with a project that led to the donation of more than 500 button-hole scarves.
Nancy gives praise to her team of helpers - 35 dedicated volunteers from Plantation Village and fellow members of Lutheran Church of Reconciliation.
“At times, my place has looked like hat central,” she laughs. “Right now, we are working on chemo caps to help cancer patients. The fulfillment that comes from volunteer work is really incredible. After my experience in 2015, there was no way I could stop.”
For more information about Plantation Village or the people who make our community a great place to live, give me a call at (910) 821-8036. You are also welcome to pop by for a visit or guided tour.
Lisa Polanski is the director of marketing at Plantation Village, a non-profit continuing care retirement community that offers independent living on a 56-acre campus in Porters Neck, just minutes from downtown Wilmington and area beaches. Residents enjoy first-class services in a wide variety of home styles, from one- and two-bedroom apartments to cottage homes and two-bedroom villas. Plantation Village is managed by Life Care Services™, the nation’s third-largest elder care management company. For more information, visit plantationvillagerc.com.