American poet Maya Angelou once remarked, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
Each day, community members at Ashby Ponds, an Erickson Senior Living community in Ashburn, Va., volunteer their time and resources to help those in need throughout the area.
During the holiday season, these efforts multiply. Members of the community are collecting toys as part of the annual Marine Toys 4 Tots drive and gearing up for the second annual food drive for Loudoun Hunger Relief.
“The culture of giving and volunteerism at Ashby Ponds is strong,” says community member Rev. Dr. Kate Jacobs, who helps organize the Loudoun Hunger Relief food drive. “We value the opportunity to help others with whatever gifts we have been granted.”
Earlier this year, Rev. Kate and her neighbor, Dr. Roshan Chaddra, in partnership with the resident-run Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Committee, managed a six-week food drive resulting in $30,000 in financial donations and food for those facing food insecurity in Loudoun County. As a result of this outstanding effort, plans are currently underway for a second food drive which will run from January 15 – February 15, 2022.
“There is a lot of focus on food insecurity and fundraising during the holiday season,” says Rev. Kate. “But, it’s during the cold, winter months following the holidays that the need increases significantly. It’s also a time for those of us who are so blessed to thank God for the privileges we’ve enjoyed this year.”
On December 9, 2021, Jennifer Montgomery, president of Loudoun Hunger Relief, visited Ashby Ponds to speak to residents about the importance and impact of their efforts. She will return in January for a segment on Ashby on Air, an in-house TV studio program.
“We are currently mobilizing our communications and preparing for the upcoming food drive,” says Rev. Kate.
In addition to providing food for those in need, generous members of the Ashby Ponds community are also busy collecting funds to provide holiday toys for local children.
“Ashby Ponds has been involved in the Marine Toys 4 Tots program for several years,” says community member Sven Johnson. “We began by collecting and delivering toys to the Toys 4 Tots warehouses for sorting. For the past two years, we’ve collected cash which is used for the purchase of the toys.”
To date, Ashby Ponds has raised over $3,300 to help spread the magic of the holiday season.
“As a community, we feel this fundraiser is very important because it insures that the children receiving the gifts will enjoy a nice Christmas,” says Sven.
A community donating resources and volunteers thousands of hours in service each year, Ashby Ponds residents and staff enjoy the plethora of opportunities available to share their gifts with those in need.
“Even during this busy time of the year, residents are so generous with their time, talents and treasures, not only to do good in the world, but to also feel good in the world,” said Jeff Watson, Erickson Senior Living’s Director of Operations. It’s this spirit of kindness that always radiates throughout our campuses and enables those who call Ashby Ponds home to make a joyful difference in the lives of so many.”
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