The Big Red Bus

Kathryn Murden recently graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts and shortly after that started working at Westminster Canterbury Richmond. She has quickly become a valuable member of our team who created wonderful original designs and illustrations for our many publications. Kathryn designed a full bus wrap that advertises that we are hiring in several departments. This video highlights Kathryn and the bus she designed!

Toe-Tapping Fun!

Many of us enjoy attending a concert or play from time to time, and though we have a great time, we may not appreciate the benefits of attending live performances.  Yet, the advantages are many and they continue from childhood through our older years.

In fact, the National Institutes of Health cite that arts engagement for seniors improves memory, creativity, problem solving, everyday competence, reaction time, balance, gait and quality of life.  Live performances are engaging events that build a sense of togetherness and offer a chance to connect with fellow attendees and meet new people – an excellent antidote to social isolation, a particular risk for older adults.  Watching a live performance is thought-provoking; we can gain a deep appreciation of our own culture and learn about others. 

And of course, we all know watching live performances is often foot-tapping, stress-reducing, mood-enhancing fun! 

This is why we provide ongoing, high-quality live performances at Westminster Canterbury Richmond. These are available to everyone here, regardless of their health, cognitive or financial status. As our Sara Belle November Theater fills each week for another wonderful show, the sense of community is palpable.  Old friends and new greet each other enthusiastically and everyone is welcome.

Each quarter, we produce a Cultural and Education Booklet to feature the upcoming performances. This season, the variety includes the Capitol Steps, Richmond Ballet,  Nashville Avenue Stompers, the Susan Greenbaum Band and a Piano Festival – to name a few. If you have family here at Westminster Canterbury or are a member of our Canterbury Club, consider attending with your loved one or attending as our guest. 

The Richmond region is rich in cultural offerings, and it is more than worth it to consider how attending live cultural events will enhance your life!

Click here to explore our latest Cultural and Education Series booklet and let the toe-tapping fun begin!

Celebrating Inspiring Generosity on National Poinsettia Day

Each holiday season, Westminster Canterbury Foundation celebrates inspiring generosity that supports critical programming by giving a red or white poinsettia plant to our residents who are Leaders in Giving. This beautiful, living gesture of our gratitude recognizes the unique and cherished relationship we have with our donors. It also symbolizes the brilliant growth we experience because of the support given throughout the year. Volunteer “elves” spread holiday cheer and gratitude as they deliver these beautiful plants!

A little-known fact is that poinsettias continue to grow long after the winter holidays have passed.   When nurtured, they can become beautiful bushes, even trees. The Foundation celebrates and appreciates the inspiring generosity of our donors that ensures the best life possible for all our residents all year long!

Donors make so many things possible at Westminster Canterbury – our Fellowship Program for seniors-in-need, wonderful performances in our Sara Belle November Theater, nurses who are trained to provide the best possible healthcare when residents need it, scholarships for employees and much more. During the holiday season, we are grateful that we can celebrate this inspiring generosity in a beautiful way on campus.

If you’re inspired to give back this season, we invite you to join us in supporting seniors-in-need and other areas of greatest need at Westminster Canterbury.

Attitude of Gratitude

This time of the year we turn collectively toward family and friends in thanksgiving for our many blessings. We look forward to enjoying traditional meals passed along through family traditions – and perhaps trying a new dish as well. It is a holiday to be enjoyed simply for practicing gratitude.

As good as that may sound, the real benefits of an attitude of gratitude are experienced when gratitude is practiced all year long. A number of researchers have studied gratitude’s effects, discovering that those who practice gratitude show improvements in areas of health, social, personality, career and emotional wellbeing, as compared to peers who concentrate on life’s losses. In fact, taking even five minutes a day to take stock of what we’re thankful for can produce lasting value.

At Westminster Canterbury Richmond, we’re grateful for so much. Living purposeful, enriched lives of dignity.  Enjoying a wonderfully strong sense of community. Deepening our lives spiritually.  Learning and appreciating the joy of art and cultural experiences. Peace of mind knowing that no one will ever be asked to leave for financial reasons caused through no fault of their own. Happiness in welcoming neighbors into the community whose financial status would otherwise deny them a healthy retirement. Healthcare for each stage of life.  Yes, there is much to be thankful for.

In response to thanksgiving, many choose to give of themselves – as volunteers who give gifts of time and expertise, and as donors who give to ensure the best life possible for those on our campus and for many seniors-in-need beyond our gates.

As you celebrate this Thanksgiving, we hope you will strengthen a tradition of gratitude in your own lives.  As you do so, may you know joy and grace – given by the One who provides all good. Happy Thanksgiving!  Happy Thankful Year!

To learn more about Westminster Canterbury Richmond, please visit our website at www.wcrichmond.org.

To learn more about giving to Westminster Canterbury Foundation, email Gayle Haglund at ghaglund@wcrichmond.org.

We All Benefit From the Generosity of Others

At various points in life, someone else made a decision to provide support that may have changed the course of your life. Maybe it was the scholarship that helped you attend college. Maybe your church pitched in to help when your loved one was sick. Maybe it was as simple as a kind word when you were feeling down. Generosity affects us all! And we all have opportunities to pay it forward.

Inspiring generosity changes the lives of seniors at Westminster Canterbury Richmond. Helping seniors-in-need is our founding purpose and the basis for all our charitably funded programming. Did you know that around 110 out of 850 seniors who live on our campus receive financial aid through our Fellowship Program? Fellowship provides life care. A home. Three meals a day. Medical care including assisted living or nursing care when needed. These seniors would have nowhere else to turn if it weren’t for the security and peace of mind that you make possible through inspiring generosity to Westminster Canterbury Foundation.  We also to reach out beyond our walls to help others in the greater Richmond region.

Together we’re learning and practicing better ways to enjoy a healthy and purposeful elderhood – regardless of financial, health or cognitive status.  Our goal is that all seniors can truly live life well!

This video shares a taste of the ongoing work of Westminster Canterbury Foundation.  To learn more or to pay it forward through supporting our efforts, please contact Gayle Haglund at ghaglund@wcrichmond.org or visit our website https://foundation.wcrichmond.org/.

A Spirit of Generosity

We all make plans – short-term and long-term – for our lives. How do you envision your future? Westminster Canterbury Richmond has a vibrant vision for how seniors will live on our campus and in greater Richmond. There are many ways that you can plan ahead to benefit yourself and the causes you care about most.

Westminster Canterbury benefits from a long history of generosity. Our Fellowship Program serves 110 seniors-in-need annually. These generous souls served their community as teachers, clergy, caregivers and more, unfortunately leaving them with few resources to support themselves in retirement. Our 44-year history of generosity allows us to provide more than $4 million in housing, meals and medical care costs annually. And your gifts support important therapies, training, innovation and other programs that make the biggest difference in the lives of our residents and employees.

Many of our supporters have planned ahead by making a gift to Westminster Canterbury in their wills, making us the beneficiary of their retirement plans, giving through their donor-advised funds and more. There are many simple ways to give that benefit you and the causes you care about. To learn more, visit http://plannedgiving.wcrichmond.org or read the latest issue of The Lamp.

Westminster Canterbury Richmond is a special place thanks to decades of strong leadership, philanthropy and a sense of mission. We hope you’ll join us in supporting what makes this such a special place!

Start Your Holiday Shopping at our Fall Craft Fair!

Each November, Westminster Canterbury Richmond’s Center for Creative Living fills with an abundance of special crafts from more than 30 vendors. Artisans work year round preparing original art, fine crafts, jewelry, Christmas ornaments, handmade cards and more. Our resident-run Treasure Chest will also be selling beautifully decorated wreaths, trees and festive table arrangements. It’s the perfect opportunity to start your holiday shopping – or to find a treasure for yourself.

A portion of the proceeds from sales benefit Westminster Canterbury Foundation’s Fellowship Fund, which provides life care – housing, meals, medical care and vital living – for around 110 seniors-in-need annually.

This year’s Fall Craft Fair takes place Friday, November 1, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and Saturday, November 2, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., on our campus at 1600 Westbrook Avenue, Richmond, Virginia 23227. Parking and shuttle service are available at Azalea Mall. We look forward to seeing you there!

Here is a sample of what you can expect!

Intergenerational Magic!

The magic happens every day at Westminster Canterbury Richmond where the children from our Child Development Center interact with our residents.  Precious moments occur when the children explore with their teachers.  Early on they learn that the tall octagon of Foundation Hall provides a great echo chamber, and few tykes resist a few whoops as they pass through.  Such fun!

Every week a class of four-year-olds visits The Gables, a living center for people with dementia.  Our teachers and recreational therapists plan programming that is mutually beneficial to the residents and the children.  The interaction brings so much joy – joy that spills over to everyone who participates.  Another regular set of visitors are the therapy dogs!  Now that is a winning combination – pups, kiddos and laughing seniors! 

Many research projects testing the benefits of intergenerational programming provide affirmation of what we see here each day.  According to McMaster University’s Optimal Aging Portal, such activities have the potential to nurture a sense of being useful to society (such as the feeling that older people are able to guide and positively influence future generations), to improve the well-being of older adults, and also to reduce the stigma associated with aging and discrimination against older adults. 

You can bring intergenerational magic to your loved ones by planning activities for children and seniors such as simple art projects, singing familiar songs, planting seeds, reading a story or looking at picture books.  Our Child Development Center teachers emphasize the need to be flexible and observant, ready to make adjustments if either the children or the seniors are stressed by the interaction. 

Intergenerational Magic has the power to bring deep and lasting joy!  We heartily recommend looking for moments to share with your loved ones!

Click here to learn more about our Child Development Center!

Will You Choose to Help Your Neighbors-in-Need?

“Without Westminster Canterbury Richmond’s Fellowship Program, I don’t know what would have become of me. After my parents’ and my husband’s illnesses and the cost of their medical care, I had very few options. The Fellowship Program literally saved my life. Now, I no longer spend my nights awake, wondering if I should buy food or medicine this month. Because of the generosity of many caring people, I now have a safe, secure future. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!” –Fellowship Recipient

At Westminster Canterbury Richmond, we know that people who experience financial need later in life are sadly forgotten, far too often. Imagine Edna, quoted above, who served her community, her family and her faith her entire life. For so many years, she was a caregiver, working as a nurse’s aide serving older adults. When hardship hit after her lifetime of giving, she had nowhere to turn.

There are thousands of seniors like Edna living nearby. They gave their lives to helping others. Now, when they need help most, they’re alone.

You’d be surprised to discover that you probably know several of these seniors, silently suffering. They were your teachers, clergy, caregivers, the neighbor who always helped you with the kids when there was an emergency. Their spirits of generosity far exceed their financial resources.

How much do their lives mean to you?

While there are many organizations in the Richmond area dedicated to serving our community, very few focus on seniors-in-need. That is why the confidential Fellowship Program is Westminster Canterbury Foundation’s cornerstone ministry.  Our Fellowship Program is the heart and soul of our community and provides essential needs like housing, meals and life-saving medical care to approximately 110 low-income seniors each year. Seniors like Edna now have a secure future, thanks to the inspiring generosity of so many caring donors who give to the Fellowship Program.

As we enter this season of giving and thanksgiving, we invite you to be a hero who refuses to forget our silently suffering senior neighbors like Edna. Your help is crucial! Please join us in helping those who have given their entire lives and now need YOUR help.

With your gift, YOU:

…provide secure housing, meals and assistance with medical expenses to more than 100 seniors-in-need each year.

…guard against the devastating effects of social isolation

…give back to those who have given their entire lives to serving others

…preserve the dignity of those who are so often forgotten

Your inspiring generosity saves lives!

For more information or to give, please contact Jeanette Ucci at (804) 264-6204 or visit our website.

Cultural and Educational Series

Westminster Canterbury Richmond’s Cultural and Educational Series allows residents and guests to experience a wide variety of engaging and entertaining performances, lectures, excursions and more. This collection of events and activities showcases how each department is connected and works together to put on a show for all audiences. In this season’s playbill, residents are able to enjoy musical acts such as The Johnny Cash Musical, Glenn Miller Orchestra and The Nutcracker. The productions held in our Sara Belle November Theater spark interest with all ages because of the spectrum of diverse personalities that travel from all over to broadcast their talents.

Captivating discussions often arise after listening to the speakers during the WCR Forum Lecture Series. Guest speakers are chosen by a committee of residents, with the most recent topics including artificial intelligence and The Virginia Museum of History and Culture. An important value that is shared at Westminster Canterbury is respecting and learning about all types of faiths. The Pastoral Care department holds lectures and events for everyone to appreciate, ranging from talks about Living with Loss, to movies with a message, as well as fun activities and services in the Cochrane Commons and Montague Chapel.

There is never a dull moment, both on and off campus, because of the endless list of events and excursions available to residents. Many of these target needs, like the Farmer’s Market and Mobile DMV, while others celebrate holidays and the cultural arts. Mark your calendars for our Unique Boutique Fall Craft Fair on November 1 and 2. This annual fair invites outside vendors, residents and staff to sell and purchase a variety of holiday crafts, food and art.

Click here to flip through our Fall Cultural and Educational Series booklet and learn more about the latest events.