Christ Church member Judy VanSteenberg recently wrote for us about the Golden Cross Senior Residents Fund of the Wesley Senior Ministries Foundation.
“Making a Difference: One Life at a Time”
Retirement. We have all thought about it. We have planned for it. Most of us are living it. And, fortunately, many of us have good health and enough financial security to enjoy it.
However, there are a growing number of our fellow seniors who find themselves having outlived their families and financial means. They are faced with where and how they shall live with very limited resources. And, with varying health issues looming in the future, it can be a frightening time for many.
Thanks to Wesley Housing Corporation, almost 2,000 seniors in west Tennessee, eastern Arkansas and southern Kentucky have the opportunity to live in safe and affordable retirement communities. Started in 1969 by a group headed by Rev. Jerry Corlew, this organization now owns and manages 30 facilities throughout the region. “The mission continues to be accomplished without regard to race, sex, creed, handicapping condition or the ability to pay.”
It eventually became clear that more than just housing was needed. Wesley Senior Ministries Foundation was formed, “committed to providing resources to enhance the quality of daily living and well-being of the residents of Wesley Living communities.” The Golden Cross Senior Residents Fund is an extension of the Foundation and is called upon frequently to step into the gap for both individuals and groups within the communities.
- Big screen TVs have been installed in all the residences common rooms to enhance the lives of the residents. Laundry carts have been made available as well. An annual Christmas luncheon is provided at each community along with a small gift for each resident, in some cases the only holiday meal and/or gift some residents may receive.
- Art supplies worth $100 were provided for another facility, reviving a past interest for some and creating new joys for others.
- One lady who had almost stopped eating and talking was given the gift of much-needed dental work, which she otherwise could not afford. When she received the check, she said it was “like a gift from the tooth fairy!”
Much of the work of the Golden Cross is done by Key Women, representatives from each church who serve as advocates for the ministry. CUMC’s Key Woman is Sally Barcroft. Numerous Circles have embraced this mission, collecting goods to be donated on a regular basis. Threads of Love Circle made and gave 2,000 fleece scarves for the residents last winter. Lydia Circle recently put together two Move-in Packs, containing the essentials for setting up housekeeping for the growing number of those who arrive with virtually nothing. Another CUMC group assembled Household Buckets filled with cleaning supplies.
For the first time, our entire congregation will have the opportunity to participate in this vital ministry. On Christmas Eve, the Golden Cross Senior Residents Fund will be partnered with the Mosaic Ministry as part of the 2nd Mile: Advent giving campaign. All monies donated that evening will be evenly divided between the two.
100 percent of all gifts to the Golden Cross goes to direct assistance for rent, food and medical emergencies of the residents, as well as supporting programs and activities that promote healthy and well-balanced lives. We all can contribute to making a difference, one life at a time.
Our goal for 2ndMILE: Advent giving to Golden Cross is $24,000.
Visit cumcmemphis.org/2ndmile for more information.