The lovely Arbor Acres United Methodist Retirement Community is just a short drive from our Winston-Salem campus. The residents of Arbor Acres have long been supporters of The Children’s Home, now Crossnore School & Children’s Home, and have supported many other causes in the community as well.
A history of generosity.
For the last 14 years, the residents of Arbor Acres have raised money to support Senior Services and specifically, Meals on Wheels. Last year as the Resident Council met, they invited five local non-profits to make a presentation about their organization’s need and Crossnore was one of those five organizations. Residents listened to the presentations and then voted on who they felt should be the recipient of the monies raised.
Once Crossnore was chosen, the Arbor Acres fundraising chairs, Hayden and Mary Kepley and Carroll McCullough, met with Crossnore CEO Brett Loftis and Advancement Officer Brandon Cathey to determine what project needed the most attention. The group settled on the barn roofs at the farm, which were in dire need of repair. They branded the project as the Barn Raiser and the project was off and running. Carroll McCullough said, “This project was about seniors helping children, and neighbors caring for neighbors.”
“This project was about seniors helping children, and neighbors caring for neighbors.”
An inspiring goal.
The next step was to set a fundraising goal. In the past, the residents had raised approximately $60,000 each year for the designated organization. But this year, the Resident Council wanted to challenge the residents to step up and really embrace the project. Since The Children’s Home first opened in 1909, the fundraising goal was set for $109,000. Hayden Kepley commented, “Once realized the scope of the need, we all agreed to set the goal at $109,000. Everyone here could relate to the need and felt a connection with the campus.”
As the year progressed, Arbor Acres gave regular updates on the fundraising at the Town Hall meetings. In addition, Brett Loftis spoke to the residents about the children who live at Crossnore now and the difficulties they have all faced. This educational program raised awareness of childhood trauma and helped the residents understand what our children have experienced. This helped the residents connect with our children and to see the importance of the therapeutic aspects of the farm. “The fundraising goal was really tangential to learning what Crossnore does today, and the education probably encouraged people to give a little more,” said Hayden Kepley.
More than we could have asked for.
Last October, the Resident Council hosted a celebration dinner for having met their goal, but the money was still coming in. On November 1, at the Town Hall meeting a check for $119,839 was presented to Crossnore School & Children’s Home’s Chief Advancement Officer, Caroline Hart. Exceeding the goal by almost $11,000 was so exciting for both Arbor Acres and Crossnore. “The goal was huge and inspiring but the residents’ understanding of our children and support for our programs has been awesome to witness,” said Brandon Cathey, Advancement Officer on Crossnore’s Winston-Salem campus.
Crossnore had the roofs replaced in late Fall of 2018, and they look amazing. All the animals think so. God calls us to be good stewards of all our resources, including our buildings, and we could not be more grateful to all the beautiful residents of Arbor Acres for their incredible generosity.
Honoring Arbor Acres.
A few weeks ago, we were able to erect a sign on one of the barns honoring the Arbor Acres’ residents’ donation and huge hearts. We were also blessed to read this on the Arbor Acres Facebook page – “Last year’s fundraiser for Crossnore is a perfect example of the power of giving back, demonstrating how gifts can come full circle. Back in 1975, The Children’s Home donated 70 acres to The Western NC Conference of the United Methodist Church to construct a retirement community in Winston-Salem–and that’s how Arbor Acres was born!”
And isn’t that the beauty of true community? Giving and receiving in cycles as each member has a need? Thank you, Arbor Acres, for caring so much for our children and blessing these facilities. We couldn’t ask for better neighbors!