CATONSVILLE, MD (January 4, 2016) – "365 Days at Charlestown," a Facebook project at Charlestown retirement community that featured a different resident or employee each and every day of the year in 2015, reached more than 43,000 people. This was nearly five times the number of the community's Facebook followers. Daily posts were "liked" more than 4,000 times (the Facebook project can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/events/312037282319624/ )
Moreover, "365 Days" took the public behind-the-scenes of Charlestown on a daily basis, honoring the individuality and the life values of the men and women who live and work at the community.
The project, said to be the only one of its kind ever done in the world, was created by Public Affairs Manager Mel Tansill, who roamed Charlestown's 110-acres and 23 buildings twice-a-week to take photos of residents and staff and ask them to share their favorite virtues, their ideas of happiness and their personal mottos for living. He also asked them to tell their job or former occupation.
Participation was voluntary and the responses were varied. About three-fourths of the posts were of residents, with the remainder being of staff.
A random sampling of resident responses follow:
John Fahey, a former Associate Professor, said his motto is "Maintain the utmost integrity."
Dottie Mitchell, a former Pre-School Teacher, said her idea of happiness is "Having a man."
Charlotte Allen, a former Baltimore City Health Department worker, said her idea of happiness is "Candy."
The project seemed to develop a cult following of sorts among residents as it evolved throughout the year.
"The '365 Days at Charlestown' was a huge success," said Ann MacKay, President of the Charlestown Residents' Advisory Council. " Those of us on Facebook got to see residents and staff, old friends as well as new faces. We shared on our Facebook pages, told others to check out the day's post, and talked about it at dinner.
"Mel did what some may say was impossible," she said. "He posted a photo of a resident or staff person and something about them every day on Facebook for an entire year. He always managed to make us look good. The '365 Days' project highlighted the interesting and diverse people who live and work here. It is hard to believe the year is over."
The project brought recognition to employees for the jobs they do to help to create a community that celebrates life. A few employee responses follow:
Stock Utility Associate Lloyd Dixon's idea of happiness is "Fishing."
Resident Life Coordinator Judi Welsh's motto is "Respect all, fear none."
Sales Move-in and Event Associate Megan Converse's idea of happiness is "A room full of puppies and a glass of wine."
"It was wonderful to see '365 Days' highlight our employees and the vast range of their work being done," said Karen Parker, Senior Human Resources Manager. "I often heard staff proudly talking about their having been featured in the posts. It was also good to know more about them on a personal level since both residents and employees are a part of the Charlestown family."
Don Grove, Director of Sales, said the "365 Days" project proved invaluable in increasing public awareness of Charlestown throughout the year.
" The project brought thousands of senior citizens to social media as it instilled a sense of pride from our residents in seeing their profiles and sharing them with their families," he said. "It put names and faces to Charlestown's vibrant lifestyle."