Longtime Pine Run Village resident Wilma Groetzki received the 2024 Altruism Award for helping to improve the quality of life at her Doylestown community.Wilma has been volunteering with the Pine Run Village community since she moved to Independent Living in 2014.At that time, she recognized a need to create a stronger sense of community between residents in all levels of living and immediately began recruiting fellow Villagers to volunteer.Thanks to Wilmas dedication and passion for service, Pine Run currently has 16 Villagers volunteering in the Health Care Center.In addition to recruiting new volunteers, Wilma spends an unmeasurable amount of time outside her volunteer hours, thinking outside the box for different opportunities and ways to create a better sense of community, both within Pine Run Village and with the greater community.Wilma has initiated several programs to bring joy to the residents and volunteers alike, including:Friday Flowers Wilma delivers a fresh flower to each room of the Health Care Center.

The residents benefit from a short visit and have a flower to enjoy the rest of the weekSing Along Group Wilma and a group of Villagers tour through Health Care and Memory Care several times a month to sing a variety of different songsLakeview Visits Tours with Villagers to see the campus and will visit Villagers after moving thereMost recently, working to develop a relationship with her local church, St.Pauls Lutheran Church, Doylestown.She has been networking with church leadership and the outreach committee to identify where the various groups within the church might have something to offer.

So far, she has helped coordinate a devotions and hymn sing service, an intergenerational holiday ornament program with the high school youth group and a card and cupcake delivery from a Sunday school classIn her nomination, Molly Sahner, Community Life Director at Pine Run Village, shared When we hear Wilmas name, bright colors begin to dance in our minds and a good word to begin describing her would be vibrant.Wilmas kindness and compassion give her the ability to know when someone might need a calm, quiet visit where perhaps she just reads or sits quietly with someone.She is an all-around people person and will meet someone where they are at to bring joy to their day.Not only does Wilmas involvement in these efforts bring joy to her heart, it also brings joy to all of the recipients and other Villagers who volunteer alongside her.While its clear Wilma - and her recruited volunteers - gain great joy in sharing their time with residents in the Pine Run Health Care Center and Memory Care Garden, there are many additional benefits to volunteering during retirement.As Wilma and others have noted, They get more than they give.

Aging experts believe it is because volunteerism provides a sense of purpose, which also translates to a more physically active and engaged lifestyle.We know volunteering helps people in other ways:Make new friendsLearn new skillsGain confidenceSocialize with othersAvoid feeling lonelyA study of participants in the AARP Experience Corps found that volunteers showed improvements in both physical and mental health along with an apparent delay in the onset of problems related to aging.Specifically, it found volunteers experienced:Fewer limitations in their physical abilitiesA slower decline in health because of agingA reduced risk of depressionIncreased physical activityA larger number of friendsA feeling of optimism about lifeBetter memory capacityCongratulation to Wilma for this honor and to the other nominees for the Altruism Award from across Pennsylvania Senior Livings communities:Donna Howley, Cathedral VillageBarbara Bobbie Hess, Glen MeadowsTodd Johnson, Green Ridge VillageMike Vandenberg, Kirkland VillageFay Propst, The Long CommunityCharlie Clayton, Presbyterian HomeLloyd Forshey, Presbyterian VillageQuincy Care Auxiliary, Quincy VillageLeora Streams, St.Andrews VillageAnnette Pennington, Ware Presbyterian VillageThrift Shop Team, Westminster VillageDiana Chase, Westminster Woods

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