Making An Impact

Garden Spot Village residents have been changing the world since the community welcomed its first residents in spring 1996. Service is core to the community’s DNA so it’s only natural that residents would make a difference in the New Holland community and around the world!

Residents volunteer their time at Garden Spot Village, in New Holland, and throughout Lancaster County. In addition to sharing their time, they give generously, supporting local non-profits through monthly collections and donations.

For many people, travel is at the top of their retirement list. Garden Spot Village offers opportunities to Travel with Purpose on domestic and international trips. In addition to experiencing new cultures and places, residents embrace opportunities to serve—whether in a CURE International hospital or on a job site.

In addition, residents impact the lives of those around them through intergenerational opportunities. Whether it’s participating in a Grands & Kids activity or leading a Baking Club for New Holland Elementary students, residents are connecting with others and changing the world.

How do we describe all of these amazing opportunities? GAME ON!

Impact. Travel. Donate. Volunteer.

Game On!

Impact

The impact of intergenerational connections benefit every generation. Garden Spot Village residents participate in programs like Grands & Kids Camp that allow them to impact their own grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In addition, they freely give of their time and resources to connect with school-age children by sponsoring clubs with the New Holland Elementary School and living history lessons at Garden Spot High School.

Grands & Kids Camp

Grands & Kids Camp is an annual, intergenerational camp for Garden Spot residents and future residents and the grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews or other children in their lives. The weeklong camp offers incredible opportunities to make lifelong memories together as “grands” and “kids” complete service projects, attend sporting events, compete at mini-golf and more.

Pen Pals

Throughout the school year 5th graders from New Holland Elementary School and Garden Spot Village residents forge friendships through letters. For residents, it is the opportunity to share the wisdom of life experience and speak into the lives of young people, providing an enriching experience across the generations.

History in the Classroom

Each fall Garden Spot Village residents participate in an American History class at Garden Spot High School. Volunteers share real-life experiences of events in American history. Through conversations, stories and laughter, residents bring events in the students’ textbooks to life.

Tutoring with CrossNet

Through CrossNet Ministries, residents volunteer to tutor a middle or high school student weekly throughout the school year. These opportunities create an opportunity to encourage a young person and build a lifetime relationship.

Travel

One of the most common things people hope to do in retirement is travel! At Garden Spot Village Travel with Purpose trips combine experiencing new cultures with volunteering. Travel with Purpose trips also create a deeper sense of community as team members and residents travel and serve together.

The trips often include deeper community support as well. People throughout Garden Spot Village, although they may not be the ones who travel, connect through financial, material or prayer support.  

Missions of Hope International

In 2020, Garden Spot Village began to partner with Missions of Hope International (MOHI), a non-profit organization based in Kenya that uses child sponsorship, education, health clinics, microfinance and job skills training to offer a holistic approach to assisting families in the Mathare valley. Garden Spot Village residents and team members visited and supported MOHI staff in Kenya in February 2022. To learn more about the trip, read the blog.

CURE International

In 2016, Garden Spot Village began to partner with CURE International, a network of hospitals that offer life-changing surgeries to children. In 2016 and 2017 teams went to the Dominican Republic; in 2018 and 2019, teams traveled to Kijabe, Kenya.

New York School of Urban Ministry

In October 2022 a team of 14 Garden Spot Village residents served with New York School of Urban Ministries (NYSUM). While at NYSUM, the team worked on many different projects, including dorm room restorations, electrical work, marketing and updating development materials. The work they performed was vital to the school’s continued operation that helps prepare individuals to minister to those in their community. In addition, the group went to a veteran’s shelter to provide a hot meal as well as hygiene packs to the unhoused in the community. To view a video about this Travel with Purpose Trip, watch the October Endeavor.

Previous Initiatives

Over the past 20 years Garden Spot Village residents partnered with a variety of organizations. Residents helped to rebuild homes for Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) projects in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina and in New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy. Residents also helped to frame homes that were trucked to Cordova, Alabama, and New Iberia, Louisiana, for onsite building with MDS.

Between 2009 and 2019, teams traveled to the mountains outside Tegucigalpa, Honduras six times to help the local churches build a mountain camp and retreat in conjunction with Missions Door.

Garden Spot Village also connected with United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) to support relief and rebuilding efforts. In late April 2018 and March 2019, a group of team members and residents traveled to Tarboro, North Carolina, to partner with UMVIM.

Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by why we get, but we make a life by what we give.” At Garden Spot Village generosity overflows. A spirit of abundance fuels the community and people give generously through a Making-a-Difference.

Making-a-Difference is a monthly collection of material items for local non-profit organizations. To participate, place donations in the barrel located in the apartment suites lobby. Call Life Enrichment at 717.355.6007 to learn more.

Upcoming collections include:

November 1-30
Collection of new children’s hats, gloves, mittens and scarves. These items may be store bought or handcrafted, but they should be new for the recipient. This collection is going to serve children in the ELANCO area through CrossNet Ministries in New Holland.

December 1-30
Stuff a Christmas stockings or write a heartfelt card to a solider away for the holidays. This event is in partnership with Keystone Military Families Stockings for Soldiers which is coordinated through Blue Ridge Cable.

January 1-31
Since 2006 Garden Spot Village has participated in the Souper Bowl of Caring, a national food drive that uses the energy of the Super Bowl to mobilize youth and adults to care for people in their local communities who are hungry and in need. This year we will collect canned soup and cracker donations for the CrossNet Food Pantry.

February 1-28
Please join us as we collect non-perishable food items for the CrossNet Food Pantry. CrossNet Ministries offers help and hope in the name of Jesus Christ by empowering people in the ELANCO community. The organization provides programs in the area of Youth, Food & Nutrition, Social Services and Community. To learn more about CrossNet, visit their website.

Volunteer

Garden Spot Village residents experience and build community through on-campus and off-campus volunteer opportunities. Residents serve on campus in a variety of ways—from sorting the mail to helping with the annual Garden Spot Village 1/2 Marathon and 10K. Off-campus, residents connect with local organizations like CrossNet, Water Street Ministries and more.