Contributed by Westminster at Lake Ridge
Rev. Dawn Haeger, new chaplain at Westminster at Lake Ridge, and residents of the retirement community return on Tuesday, Jan. 14 to Rockledge Elementary School to tutor kindergarten students in reading and language skills. Tutoring is one of the new Life Enrichment opportunities that Rev.Haeger has started to help residents give back to their community.
More than 165 volunteers from Westminster at Lake Ridge worked about 20,000 community service hours in 2013.
Below is a brief article about how Westminster at Lake Ridge residents are reaching people beyond their campus.
To cover the tutoring at Rockledge Elementary on Jan. 14, contact Brian Ruberry, 301-948-1709, [email protected]
Continuing A Tradition of Giving Back
One of the appealing attributes that attracted Rev. Dawn Haeger to Westminster at Lake Ridge was its tradition of community service. Even before Rev.Haeger started as Chaplain in September, residents had worked thousands of service hours as a way of giving back to the community beyond their campus.
Fran Stockdale, Chairman of Development Committee at Westminster at Lake Ridge, estimates that by the end of October some 165 volunteers had already worked about 20,000 hours in 2013. Volunteer activities ranged from working on the campus’ library to helping out during the Senior Olympics.
Rev. Haeger has continued that tradition of giving by offering two new Life Enrichment opportunities. In December, seven residents visited nearby Rockledge Elementary School to tutor kindergarten students in reading and language skills. That same month, 10 residents helped to bag and prepare food at SERVE in Manassas which helps some of the area’s most vulnerable individuals and families.
“Our residents have amazing gifts to share,” said Rev. Haeger. “There’s no point in a person’s life when he or she cannot be fruitful.”
Westminster at Lake Ridge residents were paid a high compliment when a staff member at SERVE told Rev. Haeger that her group worked harder than most teenagers who volunteer there.
“Spirituality plays a big role in people’s lives at Westminster,” says Rev. Heager, who noted that Westminster’s status as a not-for-profit distinguishes it from other retirement communities. “Some people may not come to worship, but giving back to their community is important to them.”
Westminster at Lake Ridge volunteers return to Rockledge on Jan. 14 to continue tutoring in classrooms. Volunteers will also be needed in February when residents return to SERVE.
Stockdale, who is recovering from surgery, hopes to be among those working at the school.
Like of many of the volunteers who visited the school in December, she is a former teacher.
“To go back into a classroom setting and work with children again after 20 years, it was great for us,” she says.
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