By Daniel Carr
While we are thankful every year for our many blessings, 2017 stands out among the rest. This year, Parker’s 110th anniversary falls on Thanksgiving Day. We feel proud of all our accomplishments since Henrietta Parker opened Parker at Landing Lane in 1907. We are especially thankful for such a monumental year – we are serving more people than ever, emboldened by our new mission of making aging part of life.
The uplifting sense of gratitude is tangible during this time of the year, and it results in the desire to help out others who are not as fortunate. Parker at Stonegate has been working to raise funds for Susan G. Komen and create toys for Marty’s Place Senior Dog Sanctuary. Parker at River Road has been collecting clothing donations for Elijah’s Promise, and Parker at McCarrick has been accepting non-perishable food for the Franklin Park Food Bank, as well as fundraising for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
This week, all of our residences are proudly displaying “Thanks for Giving” trees, where everyone is encouraged to write a small message on a leaf describing what they are thankful for, and then placing it on the tree like an ornament. In only a few days, the trees are sprinkled with positive messages. You can often find either an Elder or one of our care partners stopping in their tracks to read some of the positive words placed on the tree. It’s a small way we try to express both gratitude for and unity with those around us.
We’re also thankful to have entered the national conversation on aging as a “thought leader” in the industry. We’re happy to be of service to so many people and are grateful for our residents, program participants, employees, care partners, and others who help us fulfill our mission of making aging manageable, relatable and enriching for all of society.