They help seniors navigate the Internet. They set up social media accounts. They explain cell phone cameras and apps and other mysteries of electronic devices. Every month, it seems, presents a whole new host of challenges. But, when the students of the Bellefontaine High School DECA program visit Graceworks Luther Community to explain technology to its residents, they also get a reward of their own. Two seemingly disparate generations unite to share smiles, break down barriers, and make a connection that extends far beyond any Wi-Fi signal.
Employees of Graceworks Housing Services are presented with a unique mission. While they ensure that their residents are safe and healthy, they also look for opportunities to enrich their daily lives. Each year, Graceworks Housing Services selects one employee from their 18 communities that illustrates the best of that ideal. LeAnnea Taylor of Luther Community in Bellefontaine is the recipient of the 2018 award. Aside from her dedication to the Techy Teens/Savvy Seniors program, LeAnnea excels in her day-to-day duties. Site manager Debra Walters wrote, “LeAnnea exhibits patience, kindness, respect and love towards her residents and co-workers.” Service Coordinator Lisa Ebert of Messiah Community added, “With the recent cuts in HUD for service coordinators, she still manages to find creative ways to have cookouts, coffee time, bingo and other events her residents really love.”
A key value of Graceworks Lutheran Services is a dedication to wholeness of life. So when residents of Grace Lutheran Community in Greensburg, Indiana asked for a community garden to grow their own tomatoes, onions, peppers, lettuce, and herbs, Site Manager Debbie Robbins sprung into action. Thanks to the leadership of the Purdue University Extension Office and grants from the Agriculture Field of Interest Fund and the Decatur County Community Foundation, the dream became a reality. Generosity abounded. Senior leaders of the Extension Office and the local 4-H chapter would construct raised beds and plant the seeds for a bountiful harvest. Throughout the summer, residents enjoyed the goodness of homegrown vegetables and herbs. For Grace Lutheran Community, the residents planted the seed that grew into an inspiring partnership and delightful new collaborations.
Number of states served (Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky)
Total number of Graceworks Housing properties
Total number of individuals served
Dollars that service coordinators collectively saved residents during 2018