June 27, 2017 // 12:38 PM

Returning to Garden Spot Village

Written by Juanita Fox

As a student at Garden Spot High School, Kimberly Doutrich worked for Garden Spot Village in the Central Kitchen after school. After a couple of years, and because she wanted to pursue nursing school, she picked up some extra hours as a resident assistant in Mountain View and began to explore health care.

Soon after graduating from high school she married and moved on from Garden Spot Village. When she left in November 2004, renovations to skilled nursing were just starting.

Fast forward 12 years. Doutrich’s four children reach school age and once again, she desires an opportunity for meaningful employment. Remembering the wonderful people she worked with in Central Kitchen and Mountain View, she applies for a position as Resident Assistant in Mountain View and begins orientation in March. 

From the beginning of orientation, Doutrich says, Garden Spot Village feels like an even better place to work than before. Learning about the internal workings of the organization, the importance of the mission and core values and the soon-to-be-built cooperative living house affirms her decision to return to Garden Spot Village.

She marvels at all of the changes. The transformation from traditional skilled nursing to households especially impresses her. “Renovations had started when I left,” she says, “but now I recognize the bigger purpose behind all of the changes that had felt like routine upgrades. The renovations completely changed the atmosphere.” Reflecting on her tour through the households she says, “They were dishing up soup, right in the household. It feels like you are at home.”

Other changes, like the addition of mission trips to Honduras and the Dominican Republic also added value to her employment at Garden Spot Village. Just knowing about the growing opportunities for residents and staff feels right. And, while she knew the Benevolent Fund existed, she now understands the value and safety it provides to residents.

She also embraces the mission in a new way, recognizing her part in “We will enrich the lives of older adults as an expression of Christ’s love.”

After her orientation to Garden Spot Village, she says her perspective of her work has changed. “As a resident assistant, I’m not just there to provide care, I’m being invited into the residents’ home.”