HOUSTON, TX—Pre-retirement, Donna Schlitt was a busy person.
She raised two children with her husband, ran a custom drapery business, served as an administrator for Fair Haven United Methodist Church in Spring Branch and volunteered extensively.
In 2005, Ms. Schlitt moved to Eagle's Trace beginning a new chapter in her life.
At the Erickson Living retirement community in West Houston, she fuels her energetic nature by working with the Community Outreach Committee. It consists of nine residents whose goal is to provide avenues for their peers to volunteer in projects that serve the greater Houston area and beyond.
This summer, for instance, the group organized a drive to collect coloring books and crayons for young patients at Texas Children's Hospital. In August, they coordinated a working shift at the Peanut Butter Cannery to make 4,000 jars to be distributed primarily by the Houston Food Bank.
Why do they do it?
"We have a heart for others," said Ms. Schlitt. "Most residents at Eagle's Trace volunteered with their churches and other organizations. We understand the value of continuing that service to be good neighbors in West Houston."
The Committee is currently led by Ernest Buschhaus, a retired Colonel of the United States Marine Corps (USMC). The group meets regularly and partners with staff members such as Kristen Griffin, a Resident Services Coordinator, to recruit volunteers and publicize upcoming projects.
Their robust schedule continues in the fall. They'll tap into the sewing and crafting community of Eagle's Trace to make comfort blankets for children via Project Linus. In the fall, they will raise funds to support Wreaths Across America. As a result of this annual endeavor, wreaths will be placed on the grave sites of service men and women at the Houston National Cemetery during Christmas.
For Ms. Schlitt, involvement with the Community Outreach Committee is an extension of her life's work. "It's fulfilling to see these projects come together. We all believe that you're a healthier person when you help others," she said.
About Eagle's Trace: Eagle's Trace is one of eighteen continuing care retirement communities managed by Erickson Living. Located in Houston, Texas, the scenic 70-acre campus is home to more than 650 residents. Eagle's Trace is the ideal greater Houston retirement destination offering a true sense of community, convenience beyond compare and a sensible financial structure.