Why “Community” Means More Here
“Community” is more than a reference to a geographical area where people live. It refers to a group of people who have a “kinship” and share common characteristics, like compassion, generosity, and kindness. For many, the holidays offer a unique opportunity for these kinds of characteristics to truly shine. Residents here feel supported and cared for year-round by Edgemere team members, and that moves many to offer support in return through a special team member appreciation fund. And the fund is 100% resident-run through the Edgemere Resident Association. Each year, starting in late October, the Resident Association collects donations from residents to contribute to the fund, and monies collected are distributed in December to all team members based on the number of hours each of them worked throughout the year. Team members are grateful to use their funds however they wish, whether it’s to buy gifts or fulfill needs for their families.
Edgemere resident Don Spies says the fund is meant to show appreciation to team members for their hard work and for the caring ways in which they serve all the residents. And Edgemere residents love showing their appreciation in this way each year. Interestingly, a study by Harvard Business School professor Michael Norton and colleagues found that giving money to someone else lifted participants’ happiness more than spending it on themselves. Scientists also believe that altruistic behavior releases endorphins in the brain, producing the positive feeling known as the “helper’s high.” And there’s a lot of “helper’s high” around here, especially during the holidays!
Edgemere’s team members certainly appreciate the support they receive through the team member appreciation fund, as well as two other funds – the emergency and scholarship funds. The Resident Association also coordinates these efforts and collects donations throughout the year to help team members get through challenging times or aid in advancing educational goals.
In addition to the annual funds benefitting team members, this community gives of themselves in other ways, including to the broader Dallas area, and even internationally. In August this year, residents donated school supplies and backpacks to a local elementary school, and with help from our team members, delivered everything to Jill Stone Elementary. A global outreach effort in September involved Edgemere’s “Knit Wits” group, who knitted 100 caps to be sent via the Joshua Project to children in a hospital on the Ukrainian-Romanian border. And just in time for holiday gift-giving, Edgemere will host a pajama drive in December in partnership with “Pajamas for Seniors” a non-profit organization that helps provide new pajamas for seniors in need in DFW. During the drive, our compassionate residents and team members will work together to collect pajamas within the community and also will accept donations from the public to collect as many pajamas as possible.
Explore more about the Edgemere experience and how the bonds and activities shared between residents and team members make it a “community” in more ways than one.