Giving for the holidays makes one think of buying fancy presents and opening what’s under the Christmas tree. But Homestead Village residents and staff members have a different idea. For them, giving is about giving back to our community and to those in need around the world.
Nancy Enders’ volunteerism spans church, food, and her love of baking and music—all fueled by her desire to give to others.
“Coming to Homestead Village three years ago, Jay and I wanted to be involved,” she said.
Nancy is well known on campus for her music performances, having served as a church organist and music director for more than 55 years. Every month, she performs in various venues across Homestead Village as well as other local retirement communities.).
This year, she’ll be presenting a special holiday performance with Farmstead resident Mary Ellen DeWitt, a pianist who, Nancy said, “has a beautiful soprano voice!” They’ll be performing a collection of four-hand piano music outside the Plow & Pineapple on Friday, December 23rd .
Nancy also launched and led Operation Cookie Bag, conveying gratitude to Homestead Village employees—an annual tradition with over 30 people baking, buying, packing, and delivering sweet treats.
For Tony & Elaine Ugolnik, the war and humanitarian crisis in the Ukraine became a call to action.
Professor Emeritus at Franklin & Marshall, Tony has deep ties to east Europe. Though he is of Belarusian ethnic origin, he became convinced of the organic independence and historic legitimacy of a Ukrainian Orthodox tradition in east Europe, separate from that of Russia. He became part of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and retired pastor of The Parish of the Holy Ghost Church in Coatesville. Elaine is his co-worker and partner in his ministry.
“For so many Ukrainians this year,” Tony said, “there’s no heat, no electricity.” In response, the church has organized an outerwear clothing drive, and Homestead Village neighbors have been very generous, helping to fill Tony and Elaine’s car several times over.
Sue Meredith finds that singing is a way to bring joy to others. She’s one of 25+ members in Homestead Village Harmony Chorale, led by new director Maggie Nicholas.
The Chorale’s holiday concerts include “Hanging of the Greens” on December 5th— part of the Homestead Village Tree Trimming event—and several special performances for Apostles Center and Westvue residents and Supportive Services residents who live in the Apartments.
The Chorale is accompanied by HV resident Kay Sherman and performances are coordinated by Chorale managers, Bernie & Dan Fickes.
Homestead Village also looks all the more festive thanks to the “Deck the Halls” Committee led by Kathy Rodabaugh, the Auxiliary Decorating Committee led by Dee Butz and Johann McKee, and the Theme Dinner Committee chaired by Carolyn Doherty.
Kathy’s five-person committee decorates the main lobby, the chapel, the boardroom, and any place in between. She explained, “Donna Duffey has the ideas and I help to make them happen. ‘It takes a village’ as they say!”
Dee and Johann’s committee decorates the dining room, Glasford Room, and the hallway, with a number of residents joining in to assist.
“We all work so well together,” Johann effused. And, Dee said, “We know that it means so much to residents, especially those who can’t decorate that much. It’s bringing a sense of Christmas and the holidays into their home.”
Homestead employees in Apostles Center and Westvue become “Secret Santas.” Lead Life Enrichment Coordinator Karen Braun explained, “In ACC, we have a holiday party on December 22nd when ‘Santa’ brings presents to the residents. The Westvue staff share the gifts with residents on Christmas morning. This gift giving has been a tradition in each area of Homestead for many years and really touches everyone’s hearts.”
These are just a few highlights of the many ways that Homestead Village residents and staff give of their time, talent, and resources: donating, knitting, baking, striking up tunes, raising their voices, and decking the halls! Together, they embody the spirit of the holidays.
Are you looking to join a life plan community with staff and residents dedicated to giving? Take a tour of our exceptional campus and see why Homestead Village is right for you.