At National Church Residences, our mission is to provide high-quality care, services, and residential communities for all seniors. We are motivated by four core values, one of which is mission: “We are driven by a deep sense that our work should serve God and always produce good for others.” This is why Mission Day is so important to our organization.
Although Mission Day is an event, it is a daily attitude motivated by the culture of National Church Residences. Mission Day benefits the residents of National Church Residences by creating fundraising events and service opportunities. Residents, employees, local businesses and the community all participate in Mission Day, whether through attending events at National Church Residences properties or by serving the community through service projects.
From Detroit to Atlanta and from Columbus to Sacramento, Mission Day fundraising over the past 22 years has made life better for residents in National Church Residences communities – purchasing vans with wheelchair lifts to transport residents where they need to go, adding fitness equipment to keep seniors well, providing workshops and other programming for our residents and much more.
We want you to partner with us and support Mission Day. There are several ways to join us:
Participate in Mission Day activities at your local National Church Residences community
Contact the property manager at your local National Church Residences community and ask about their Mission Day activities. We currently have over 60 properties participating in Mission Day. Although festivities will vary by property, get out to enjoy a variety of fun activities such as games, contests, bake sales, giveaways and more.
Help supply a need for a community by donating to Mission Day
You can give directly to the Mission Day fundraising campaign. All contributions support the mission and produce good for the residents. Your gift will make a difference in a community by helping to provide activities and things that enhance their experience. Donate online, or you can mail your payment to National Church Residences Attn: Foundation, 2335 North Bank, Columbus Ohio 43220. Anything you donate helps our seniors remain happy and healthy.
Invite your friends, family, and colleagues to produce good for others by creating a fundraising campaign
Invite others to do good with you! When you are passionate about the mission like we are, you’ll want to share it with as many people as possible. Crowdfunding allows you to do just that. Creating a crowdfunding campaign enables your goodwill to multiply by your bringing your circle of family, friends, and colleagues into the mission. Set up your page here and spread it like wildfire!
Share the Mission Day campaign link through an email, text message, or on your social media
Maybe you’re not in a place where you can donate or visit a local community. You can still be a part of and support the mission! Share this post or the Mission Day campaign link with your friends, family, and colleagues in an email, a text or on your Facebook page. The more people who know about the mission, the more we have an opportunity to support the residents.
Mission Day is an integral part of what we do at National Church Residences. We couldn’t do everything we do without your support. Join us in our mission to keep seniors home for life. Become a part of Mission Day!
DETROIT – The first time Makeda Hunt drove a truck loaded with bottled water to Catholic Charities of Flint/Owosso to help the families suffering from the Flint Water Crisis, she witnessed an incredible sight.
“When we were unloading the van, a line of cars was coming up just waiting for water,” said Makeda, the Regional Manager who oversees National Church Residences’ Detroit portfolio. “I really saw the need.”
For that first trip to Flint last April, employees and residents of Wayne Tower (in Wayne, MI) collected about 100 cases of water.
After what she saw there, however, Makeda decided to pool all of her Detroit-area resources together and make an effort on a larger scale.
“I knew our regional conference was coming up in May and I would have all of my managers there together,” she said. “It was the perfect opportunity to put the challenge on the table.”
Makeda tasked her team with the goal of collecting as much bottled water, sanitary wipes and bottles of hand sanitizer as possible to help aid with the Flint Water Crisis.
“They exceeded my expectations,” Makeda said. “I was thinking I would have about 500 cases.”
Over a two day span on June 30 and July 1, Makeda went site-to-site collecting donated water from 15 National Church Residences properties.
“It resulted in a total collection of 726 cases of water,” she said. “Enough to fill up a 20-foot U-Haul truck.”
Makeda took the truck (that she personally paid to rent), along with five cars full of volunteers from various National Church Residences sites, to Flint on July 1 to make the donation – just in time for the Fourth of July weekend.
“I am beyond impressed with the amount of cases of water that we were able to collect and have donated to the residents of Flint,” said Sonya Brown, National Church Residences Regional Vice President, whose region includes the Detroit properties. “This exemplifies true teamwork between our staff and our residents, as well as each (of our employees) commitment to our mission.”
The Flint Water Crisis began in late 2014 when the drinking water supply to Flint, Michigan, was switched over from Detroit’s public water system to polluted water from the Flint River.
In the immediate aftermath of the crisis, donations poured in from around the country. But when the Flint Water Crisis stopped being a national headline, donations of clean drinking water began to dwindle.
“While we were there I had an opportunity to talk to one of the directors from Catholic Charities,” Makeda said. There was a semi-truck that they would store the water in when people would make the deliveries. At the time they were down to their last few pallets.”
According to the staff at Catholic Charities, the water donated by National Church Residences employees and residents was enough to provide clean water to 181 Flint families – each is allowed to take a max of four cases per visit.
“I was very impressed with Solberg Tower, who collected 160 cases, and Madison Manor, being our newest addition to the portfolio, who collected 100 cases,” Makeda said. “We have a lot of residents that are low income and financially strapped, but even the ones who couldn’t get out to get water to donate brought money to their managers that we used to go buy water.”
Makeda was proud of the effort her team put in to collect the water, but added that the water crisis in Flint is still ongoing.
“It’s nowhere near over,” she said. “What I found out on my last visit was that families that had newer plumbing, they were able to install water filters. Those that have the filters in their homes now have adequate water. For the homes that are still not up to date, those are the families that suffer the most and need the most water. They still can’t utilize the city water.”
The National Church Residences Detroit team would like to organize one more water drive before winter. Anyone interested in making a donation can contact Makeda Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Properties that contributed to the water drive included: Lakeside Towers, Lakeside Villa, Meadow Creek Village, Clinton Place Apartments, Canton Place, Clark East Tower, Columbia Court, Romulus Tower, Solberg Tower, Madison Tower, Madison Manor, Wayne Tower, Park Place of Harper Woods, Eden Manor, and Evangelical Manor.
By LANCE CRANMERlcranmer@nationalchurchresidences.org
RICHWOOD, WV – “Don’t take the high road. That’s where they had a lot of the damage,” Kim Carpenter, the property manager at Edgewood Village, told me over the phone as my rented van rumbled slowly down Route 39. “Take the lower road. That’s Edgewood, where our building is. It’s a little bit clearer.”
It had been nearly a week since 10 inches of rain battered Richwood overnight, causing the Cherry River to overflow its banks and put much of the city under water, but the cleanup was still ongoing.
Earlier in the week, the staff at the National Church Residences home office in Columbus began gathering donated food, water and supplies to send to Richwood to aid the residents of Edgewood Village, a 34-unit low-income senior community that the organization has managed since 1991.
The outpouring of donations was nothing less than amazing.
In two days the central office staff pulled together enough supplies to completely pack a 9-foot UHaul van that I, along with my fiancée Kristen, would drive to the building on July 1.
Six hours after leaving Columbus – one road closure at the heavily-flooded community of Belva, and one delay due to road damage on Route 39 between Summersville and Richwood, later – we were nearing our destination.
Turning down Edgewood Avenue and heading toward the city, the views were contrasting: At first, neighbors working together to clean out a home, hauling waterlogged furniture out into the yard. Then, a house completely off its foundation, washed over the cliff that overlooks the river.
This wasn’t my first visit to Richwood.
My journalism career started in southern West Virginia in 2001 and I’d stumbled upon the Nicholas County city of about 2,000 when I’d been sent to do a story about the Cherry River Festival – a quaint street fair the city held each year.
Though I’d only been there less than a dozen times, I’d always had an affinity for Richwood. Walking down Main Street, you can feel Richwood’s history around you. It is easy to feel the bustle of the mountain boom town it once was in the 1930s.
But the closure of the sawmill, the clothespin factory (once the largest in the world) and the nearby coal mines drove its residents elsewhere looking for work. Richwood lost a quarter of its population in the 1950s, and then another 21 percent in the 1980s.
Richwood had struggled throughout its history, but the people who remained were proud of their city and worked hard to keep it alive.
When I began working for National Church Residences in the winter of 2014, I noticed that Edgewood Village was one of ours. I remembered seeing the building the last time I was in town. I wondered if I’d ever have a reason to pay it another visit. I had hoped I would. I never thought it would be on these terms.
As we pulled up out front of Edgewood Village, it was obvious that our residents were luckier than some others in Richwood. The flood waters had rolled downhill from the higher elevated north end of town toward Edgewood Village, which sits in the valley nearer to the Cherry River, and deposited inches of thick mud all around the building. Luckily, though, the floodwaters never entered Edgewood Village, instead passing just feet around the building and filling the small ravine behind it and completely destroying the Dairy Queen next door.
“We lost power when they had to shut down the sub-station down the road,” Kim Mills, the building’s maintenance technician told me. “But luckily, just last year we purchased a generator for the building.”
Kim let his residents know that Kristen and I had arrived and a small group of them met us at the front door of Edgewood Village to help unload the truck. At the same time, Tim Naylor, a friend and former co-worker of mine from Fayetteville, WV, arrived with his son Colton to volunteer their help.
Within an hour our truck was unloaded and the building’s community room was overflowing with supplies.
A few at a time, residents began to sort through the donated goods, modestly picking out only what they needed – leaving the rest for someone else who they probably felt was worse off than they were.
With a long trip home ahead of us, Kristen and I paused to take a few photos inside the building before walking the few blocks up into the center of town to get a first-hand look at the damage.
The journalist in me wanted to document the devastation to spread the word to a larger audience about what had happened. But I had no desire to be intrusive. I took photos only of the National Guardsmen working to clear the debris and the glaring signs of destruction left behind when the water receeded.
The Oakford, a small tavern on Oakford Avenue, the city’s largest north/south running street, had its door open. As I approached it a man stepped outside to tell me, “We’re closed indefinitely. But I think she’s open a few doors over.”
Just two people sat in Carolyn’s, a pool hall a few buildings north on Oakford Avenue.
“The flood started up on the hill and rolled down. All the houses up there, the water just went right through them,” the woman behind the bar said. “My house got it bad.”
Still, though, on that Friday afternoon, she was at work.
Kristen and I sat for just a brief conversation before we began the nearly 300 mile journey back home.
It took some time over the long weekend to let everything I’d seen soak in. It felt good to help. It felt good to have made the journey and done something – anything – that might have made a difference. It’s still hard to tell myself that anyone could do enough.
It’s hard to know that people are still digging out from the mess, still pulling their destroyed furniture and belongings into the street to be hauled away, still dealing with the feeling of helplessness that was dumped on them along with millions of gallons of water.
Today I received an e-mail from Kim Carpenter updating us all on the situation in Richwood and thanking those of us at the central office for our kindness.
“Richwood still looks like a war zone, with river rock lining the sidewalks and streets,” she said. “Cleanup will take months. The local Rite Aid has passed out flyers saying they will be rebuilding here in town. I have no heard anything about the Dollar General store, or whether the new grocery store will continue to rebuild. Most residents of Richwood did not have flood insurance, and those that did had limited coverage.”
She added that the donated items will greatly help the residents of Edgewood Village who now are without any local stores where they could buy everyday items.
In the last week, Edgewood Village has filled two vacancies with Richwood residents who lost everything in the flood.
One family, the Marlowes, had been in the same house for 60 years.
“The flood completely demolished their home,” Kim said. “They were in water up to their necks and climbed the stairs to their attic. I believe they may have been there for over 24 hours, perhaps even longer, before they were rescued.
“During their initial application process (to live at Edgewood Village), Mrs. Marlow’s only concern was that they lost their beautiful gardens.”
West Virginia still needs help. I encourage you to donate to the National Church Residences foundation, the Red Cross, the United Way or any of the countless charities set up to help.
“Thank you for continuing the Mission, as the City of Richwood desperately needs your hope, compassion and daily prayers,” Kim said. “God bless you all!”
COLUMBUS – Margaret could quickly crochet hats. Barbara spent her free time making shawls.
Before long, their passion and skill with needles and thread began to spread around the National Church Residences Center for Senior Health on Livingston Avenue.
“It was one winter when we had all the clients together in one room. One lady did hats. One did blankets,” said DeVonne Tucker, a volunteer at in the Center for Senior Health’s Adult Day program. “I knew how to crochet, so some of the things that these two ladies were doing I learned.”
Eventually, several other clients joined in and the casual knitting group became an every-Thursday activity.
Roughly 18 months later, the small-but-dedicated group of seniors pooled together all of the items they made and donated them to be given as gifts to National Church Residences hospice patients.
“This was really unique for the folks at our Adult Day centers to share their time and talents in such a lovely way to brighten someone else’s day,” said Deana Thatcher, National Church Residences Hospice Director. “When someone is in hospice care, anything that can brighten their day is so wonderful. Hospice is based around improving the quality of life for our patients. When they get a gift they weren’t expecting, it brightens their day. And it brightens the day of those who care for them just to see them happy.”
For many years now the seniors at Center for Senior Health Livingston have found ways to participate in charitable programs to benefit their community.
“We started this huge civic engagement program here,” said Terri Napletana, the Site Manager at CSHL. “We let clients pick out organizations they want to donate to. Then we do fundraisers.”
At first they assembled care packages to give to the formerly homeless and disabled military veterans who were moving in next door at National Church Residences Commons at Livingston. Later they raised money to purchase winter coats for the children at a nearby church.
Then came the idea of crocheting hats and blankets.
“My sister was going through chemotherapy and someone gave her a shawl to use while she was getting her treatments,” Terri said. “She said it was a lifesaver.”
DeVonne and Terri organized the group that met every week to make the hats and blankets.
“Some people couldn’t crochet, so DeVonne came up with little dogs that people could make,” Terri said. “In the beginning we would sell the dogs to get money to buy more yarn.”
After a year-and-a-half of work, on June 2 the group donated 11 sets of hats and shawls, eight adult hats, three children’s hats and two lap blankets to the National Church Residences hospice team with a small ceremony at the Livingston center.
“The whole idea of the civic engagement is there,” Terri said. “We want to give back. They love to give back.”
GREELEY, Colorado – Bonnie Dietz and her friends often gather in the lounge at Birchwood Apartments to play cards.
One afternoon nearly three months ago, Jane Schwarz, the building’s National Church Residences Service Coordinator, stopped by the group to check in.
“The lounge is right outside of Jane’s office,” Bonnie said. “She came out and talked to me for a minute and she said, ‘when you get finished with your card game, I want to talk to you.’”
Jane had a question for Bonnie that, at the time, seemed odd. However, it turned out to be a question that may have saved Bonnie’s life.
“Out of the blue she said, ‘have you seen a urologist?’” Bonnie said. “I thought, what’s going on? I have had a bit of kidney problems along with my diabetes. I didn’t know Jane was interested in this. I knew she knew about it. But I puzzled over it for a while. I thought it must just be something she needs to know.”
What Jane was doing was utilizing Care Guide, National Church Residences’ innovative program designed to create better long-term health care outcomes for our residents.
“Sometimes I pull up Care Guide and just look at what I wrote last quarter and I ask residents if they’re still going through the same things. I ask them, ‘are you still doing this or that?’ Or ‘are you still on the same amounts of this medication?’ Or just, ‘how are you feeling?’” Jane said. “Then sometimes they start telling you more about other things.”
Because of Jane’s question, Bonnie decided it might be time for a visit to her primary care physician for a check-up.
“It did instigate me to call and make an appointment,” Bonnie said. “I went in to see him on Feb. 1. He said my diabetes is fine and my blood pressure is fine. They took some lab work. Then he called the next day and said get over to the nephrology clinic because you’ve got some problems.”
Bonnie went to see the nephrologist – a doctor that specializes in kidney care – and found out some shocking news.
“I went over there and they tested my kidneys,” she said. “They said I was down to 30 percent of my function. Anything below that and you have to start thinking about dialysis.”
Shortly after hearing this diagnosis, Bonnie made an appointment with Jane to help her figure out Colorado’s Food Tax Rebate paperwork.
“I thought I was in trouble. She said, ‘first, I want to talk to you,’” Jane said. “She asked me why I had asked her about kidney disease. I explained that it was one of the chronic conditions that we follow up on in Care Guide.”
“I didn’t know that the Service Coordinator did that,” Bonnie said. “She was so tickled that her question had spurred me to go and see the doctor.”
Bonnie’s primary care physician gave her some recommendations on how to help strengthen her kidneys and avoid having to start dialysis.
Bonnie, who is 83 years old, has lived in a few different senior citizen apartment complexes.
“I was a cook in hospitals and nursing homes when I lived in Kansas,” she said. “Before that we were farmers. We had a farm and raised a family here (in Colorado).”
After her husband of 33 years passed away, Bonnie chose to move into an apartment. It wasn’t until she arrived at Birchwood Apartments, however, that she was introduced to a Service Coordinator.
“It’s really helpful,” she said. “There’s so much paperwork and things anymore that she can help me with. I don’t have a car and have to find transportation. It really is a help to have her here. She provides workshops during the week for different things. Right now there’s a living healthy workshop that comes once a week and we go attend that. It’s a real help.”
Jane said that as a National Church Residences Service Coordinator, it was exciting to see the work she does pay off in such a direct way.
“Sometimes it’s hard to see an action when you’re helping somebody because you don’t see the reaction,” she said. “In this case I did and I saw it come full-circle. It was exciting for me to see that take shape.”
Birchwood Apartments is a 173-resident senior apartment complex that has a Service Coordination contract with National Church Residences. Jane said that when Care Guide was first introduced, residents initially had some questions. But today they full embrace the positive impact it has had on their overall health.
“Just having the discussions with them prompts them to think about their health and more forward and talk to their doctor about it,” Jane said. “Bonnie is really good about advocating for herself and she took some action.”
(Dr. William Wulf, CEO of Central Ohio Primary Care, and Mark Ricketts, President and CEO of National Church Residences, sign a joint venture to provide primary care physician services for National Church Residences’ central Ohio facilities earlier this month at First Community Village in Upper Arlington.)
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The nation’s largest independent primary care group and the nation’s largest non-profit provider of affordable senior housing have officially joined forces to offer a one-of-a-kind health care partnership.
Central Ohio Primary Care Physicians (COPC) signed an agreement earlier this month to provide primary care services in coordination with National Church Residences’ continuum of senior health care services, aimed at helping seniors in Central Ohio avoid unnecessary admissions and readmissions to hospitals or nursing facilities.
“In National Church Residences we have found a partner that puts the patient at the center of every decision,” said Dr. J. William Wulf, M.D., the CEO of COPC. “Over the last three years we have worked together on multiple initiatives and felt that it was time to formalize our relationship in a joint venture.”
The partnership will focus on National Church Residences “Home for Life” program that allows seniors to live healthier lives in their own homes, reducing the need to enter nursing facilities.
“National Church Residences and COPC are jointly making a commitment in central Ohio to help seniors remain at home,” said Mark Ricketts, President and CEO of National Church Residences. “You might even say National Church Residences’ commitment to high quality and reliable ‘At Home Health Care,’ ‘At Home Assistance’ and ‘At Home Hospice Care’ is a senior’s partner at home for life!”
“True population health will require physicians to partner with organizations that can deliver services to the most frail in our care,” Dr. Wulf added. “This will include care for our high risk patients at home and in non-hospital facilities. National Church Residences is an organization focused on providing the level of care needed to improve quality and lower cost.”
In the agreement, National Church Residences will proactively identify at-risk individuals through the organization’s revolutionary Care Guide assessment system to provide person-centered care planning that tracks interventions and outcomes. COPC will provide primary care and other diagnostic services to help manage a patient’s health both before and after the need for higher levels of care.
“This joint venture with COPC is unique and exciting,” said Ricketts. “While many senior living organizations in the United States have offered primary care services on campus, few have taken the step of partnering with primary care physicians serving residents in the community.”
(Dr. John Weigand, National Church Residences Chief Medical Officer, Mark Ricketts, National Church Residences President and CEO, and Dr. William Wulf, CEO of Central Ohio Primary Care, celebrate the signing of a joint venture between the two organizations.)