Shared by James R. Martin, Board Member, at the Annual Board & Staff Appreciation Banquet--November 2011
It's A Privilege to Serve!
My Mother and Dad received a warm welcome when they moved to Landis Homes in 1993. The gracious hospitality they experienced soon created a wonderful “at-home” feeling. As a family, we were very grateful to the many staff, volunteers, and residents who served and interacted with them in providing a meaningful sense of community. The core value of community at Landis Homes is described as: “relating with a spirit which is characterized by cooperation, teamwork, encouragement and mutual respect, valuing each person, affirming gifts and abilities, and seeking improvement through learning, creativity, and openness to change”. Dad experienced these values of community for nearly six years, and Mother for seven plus years, and we say, "Thank You!"
A recent collective experience of community occurred at Landis Homes when the drenching rains during the first full week of September caused the postponement of the Fellowship Day. After all of the extensive work of careful planning, and untold hours of staff and volunteer preparations, it was a monumental task to reschedule the chicken barbeque, the auction, and all the varied activities for the following week. I observed the spirit of community “kick in” and it seemed that everyone including executive leadership, staff, volunteers, residents, and neighbors, the whole Landis Homes Community was caught up together to make it happen. It became a community-wide effort of hard work, sacrifice, and prayers to ensure its success. The Auxiliary’s chicken barbeque proceeds from their three year project is $37,000 toward the cost of a wheelchair van. And the Benefit Auction net proceeds are $ 10,000+ more than last year, resulting in over $92,000 for the Caring Fund. Landis Homes indeed is a community that cares.
But the blessing of community was most meaningful to me personally, when I was recently the recipient of this core value. In my work for Lancaster Mennonite Conference, I was asked to coordinate transportation for 27 persons from HarrisburgInternational Airport to CampHebron and then back again three day later. The Constituency Leaders Council of MC: USA chose CampHebron as the meeting place for their sessions. By Friday, no arrangements developed for taking the group back to the airport the following Wednesday. I was beginning to feel quite anxious. Then, I noticed the departure times of twenty persons were very close together. I thought of the Landis Homes buses and wondered if this may be a possibility. I didn't know if it was a legitimate usage within the guidelines, or what insurance implications there might be. At 9:15 Friday morning, I decided to e-mail Larry Zook and inquire. Within an hour I received a reply that said, “I would like to do all I can to accommodate your request”.
The request was sent to Beth Rohrer, Director of Residential Living and Sue Shirk, Director of Volunteer Services, and copied to other executive leadership. By my lunchtime, I had a response from both Beth and Sue that it was being pursued and probable. There were some details communicated back and forth during the afternoon, and then it was the weekend. But by 10:00 Monday morning, I had a reply from Hershey Leaman, Driver Coordinator which said, "Unfortunately, both passenger buses are already booked for that day. I checked with the parties and learned that both trips are still being counted on.. It's unfortunate! It would have been an excellent opportunity to help MC: USA and those directly involved. Sorry! I was encouraged to try again.
I very much appreciated the efforts made to address this need and alleviate my dilemma, and I was grateful to find other satisfactory arrangements. But as the team of staff rallied together, I experienced a sense of being in “community” together. Others sincerely attempted to address my need. I felt valued and fully included in “community”.
In my e-mail correspondence with Larry, I expressed my appreciation for all their efforts, to which he responded, “It’s a privilege to serve the church to who we are accountable.”
The phrase, “It’s a privilege to serve", came so naturally from Larry because I think it’s part of his spiritual DNA. Larry's attitude expressed in the statement, "Its a privilege to serve", was not only to me, but to Lancaster Conference, and MennoniteChurch: USA, and it was also to serve Landis Homes. I believe Larry's attitude as our President, influences all of our staff and board members in fulfilling our vision to be "Leaders in Serving", and in turn this permeates our whole campus in living out our core value of "community"in fulfilling our mission, “to serve aging adults and their families by honoring and enriching their lives in a community of Christ-like love". I regularly hear the stories of staff serving freely and exemplifying our core values of joy, compassion, integrity, stewardship, and especially community; Jesus Christ In Street Clothes.
Landis Homes Retirement Community
1001 East Oregon Rd
Lititz, PA 17543-9206