PARKVILLE, MD---Every month since 2008, fifty residents of Oak Crest retirement community meet in the Garden Terrace clubhouse to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Following their labor of love, the sandwiches are donated to local charitable organizations that provide support for the homeless and others in need.
At eight hundred per month, more than 55,000 sandwiches have been generated by these volunteers since the project began in 2008.
The Helping Up Mission in Baltimore is one of the program's recipients, and on July 10th a contingent of residents and employees from Oak Crest visited the organization's headquarters on East Baltimore Street.
Founded in 1885, the Helping Up Mission provides comprehensive services for the poor, addicted and homeless, including meals, overnight shelter, long-term recovery programs, educational courses and transitional housing.
The group received a tour of the facility and met with employees and residents about services offered there. For most, it marked their first visit.
"It was humbling to witness not only the compassion and good work done at the Helping Up Mission, but also to speak with people whose lives have been changed for the better," stated Ann Marie Riehl, Volunteer Program Coordinator at Oak Crest, who was joined by fellow staff member Kayla Lina, Community Resources Coordinator.
"They continue to benefit people from all walks of life, and it motivates us to do even more," said Ms. Riehl. "A peanut butter and jelly sandwich takes on a whole new meaning."
Oak Crest has also supported the Helping Up Mission through individual financial and material donations by residents and its inclusion in the Annual Day of Giving by employees.
More information can be found at www.helpingupmission.org.
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About Oak Crest: Oak Crest is one of eighteen continuing care retirement communities managed by Erickson Living. Located in Parkville, Maryland the scenic 87-acre campus is home to more than 2,100 residents. Oak Crest is the ideal greater Baltimore retirement destination offering a true sense of community, convenience beyond compare and a sensible financial structure.