In an Associated Press poll, among families with incomes below $50,000, just 35 percent said they felt financially ready for retirement, while 66 percent of those in higher-income households felt ready. United Church Homes is committed to its mission to provide abundant living for older adults, regardless of their financial situations.
UCH supports lower-income residents who live in its affordable housing communities in a variety of ways through giving programs led by compassionate staff members. UCH staff develop creative ideas with partners who share in the ministry to foster abundant life for people in need.
In 2016, Director of Hospitality Amy Kotterman finished researching which dinnerware sets to add to the dining services at Fairhaven Community in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, so they would complement their renovations.
She asked Gordon Food Service (GFS) how best to return the dozens of samples she had ordered during the project. Instead, GFS, a corporate partner for United Church Homes, asked whether the nonprofit organization could find uses for the samples.
“I had all of this beautiful fine dinnerware to disperse to those who needed it most,” Amy said. “Many of the older adults assisted by UCH Housing Services have very little of their own. I was thrilled to be able to make someone’s day by offering these sets to our regional housing managers, who distributed it to the residents who needed it.”
Another program encourages staff members who travel to offer their unused disposable hotel bath amenities such as shampoo, conditioner, lotion and body wash as donations to residents who cannot afford to purchase these basic needs. This seemingly small act of kindness offers residents who live on very limited fixed incomes important budget relief.
United Church Homes’ Central Office in Marion, Ohio, also supports residents of Housing Services annually through its Jeans Day program. For various months throughout the year on Thursdays, for $2, staff members can wear jeans to the office. In 2017, staff contributed more than $490 to Housing Services to support the UCH Wishing Well grant program.
Wishing Well grants are funds that are awarded annually to Housing Services communities based on a competitive grant process (similar to public and private foundation grants) to support unbudgeted items. These grants support special projects to enhance the lives of the residents at the communities and include projects such as community room enhancements, dog parks, raised gardens, walking paths and outdoor gathering spaces.