April 11, 2017 // 9:11 AM

Creating Meaningful Experiences

Written by Juanita Fox

As Garden Spot Communities, Garden Spot Village and Maple Farm work together to create meaningful experiences for residents living at either location. Recently, Carl Depue, who lives at Maple Farm asked if members of the Maple Farm Men’s Club could visit the Garden Spot Village Woodshop. Before long, plans were finalized and Depue along with Jefferson Zoller, George King and Jake Echternach visited the Garden Spot Village Woodshop.

The visit created an opportunity for Garden Spot Village residents to embody the organizational mission: We will enrich the lives of older adults as an expression of Christ’s love.

Larry Knepper and others in the Woodshop made special accommodations for the visit, laying heavy plywood over the work tables, to create a workspace where the men could work while sitting in their wheel chairs. He also prepped materials so each of the men could make a bird house they could keep and enjoy in their room or hang outside their window. Knepper, who serves as vice president of the Woodshop says, “Anytime anyone asks us to do something, we try to help.”

Knepper continues, “The plus side of it was they got to talking about their lives.” One of the gentlemen worked at a silk mill in New Holland and shared memories of Rubinson’s Department Store and other local landmarks.

While the intent for the morning was to build a birdhouse, Colleen Musselman, Garden Spot Village director of life enrichment relates, “the best part turned out to be the conversations and personal connections made.”

Rich Treadwell, president of the Woodshop, agrees. He feels the opportunity to experience a different environment impacted the men as much if not more than the project itself. He says, “They were engaged, using their hands and minds in a way that was familiar.”

Treadwell continues, “It was good to help someone else be happy and improve their lives.”

Jackie Holzel, Maple Farm activities director and volunteer services coordinator says, “It truly means a lot for our residents to have this wonderful experience networking and creating together with Garden Spot Village Woodshop members.”

A last minute stop at the train room concluded the morning’s visit.