“It first came up at the Resident Association meeting in October or November,” said Arbour Square Resident Association President Dorothy Hendershot. “We originally talked about adopting a family, but then we thought ‘why not get more people involved and have a giving tree?’”
Arbour Square has worked with Keystone Opportunity in the past but has always made monetary or food donations. Every year, the Keystone Opportunity Center collects high-value gift cards that are distributed to clients in need during the holiday season. This is the first year that the Giving Tree was ever done.
“The Giving Tree was a concept created by Arbour Square to benefit the clients of Keystone Opportunity Center,” said Malcolm Friend, director of Resource Development at Keystone Opportunity Center. “Arbour Square has, without question, made a difference in the lives of many in our community facing poverty, hunger, and homelessness.”
With the Giving Tree project, the Resident Association of Arbour Square prepared tags that could be used as ornaments on a tree with the gender and ages of people who needed gifts for the holidays. Residents could come and take the tags off the tree and buy gifts for the person the tag pertained to.
“The residents could not have been more obliging,” said Hendershot. Hendershot worked with Arbour Square Resident Life Director Barbara Lewandowski to have the tree up a few days before Thanksgiving. Lewandowski then notified residents to take a tag, if they chose to do so, and have their gifts dropped off by the end of November. By Dec. 4, over 200 gifts had been collected and were transported via Arbour Square’s bus to the Keystone Opportunity Center in Souderton.
“Overall, over 400 gift cards were donated to Keystone Opportunity Center, in addition to the bus-load of donations from Arbour Square,” said Friend.
“They were tickled silly pink,” said Resident Association Vice President Lyn Serianni, who was responsible for packing the gifts onto the bus. “There were a lot of beautiful toys for kids and gorgeous dolls for little girls. They were overwhelmed with the amount of gifts we brought.”
Following the success of this year’s donations, both Arbour Square and Keystone Opportunity Center look forward to continuing this tradition in the years to come. “Absolutely we will be doing this again,” said Serianni.
“We value the continued friendship and support of Arbour Square residents year-round,” added Friend.
Arbour Square of Harleysville is an all-inclusive, independent living community that promotes a vibrant retirement lifestyle. Services include delicious home cooked meals served in our beautiful dining room, activities and social events, exercise and wellness programs, trips and transportation, housekeeping services and much more. Arbour Square offers residents a month-to-month lease with no long-term contracts or entrance fees. For more information, please call Julie Kline, director of marketing, at 267-677-1200, or visit www.arboursquare.com.