Making Meaningful Connections
Thanks to a partnership that CHP Resident Services established with Good Shepherd Baptist Church of Christiansburg, Va., over two years ago, many residents young and old at Linden Green Apartments, also in Christiansburg, know that there are quite a few people out there who care about them, their families, and their success in life.
Wendy Schleich, Linden Green’s Resident Services Coordinator, praised the relationship the church has developed with staff and residents at Linden Green. “The congregation at Good Shepherd has been very supportive of our community and has done quite a bit of outreach.”
Some of the activities of Good Shepherd volunteers have organized include collecting gift baskets and donations to give to residents during the holidays, gathering back-to-school supplies and clothes for young residents and helping to man the rental community’s annual End-of-Summer Bash. A group of volunteers have hosted Bingo events complete with enviable prizes and brief bible verse reviews, as well as well as more intensive bible studies and craft projects. They have offered transportation to residents who need to run necessary errands or go to the doctor, and they even support the small food pantry that is located at Linden Green by sharing a monthly bread donation they receive from the Panera Bread and contributing non-perishable food items. At Thanksgiving, volunteers went door-to-door offering residents $50 turkey dinner vouchers from a local grocery store, which church members had paid for.
According to Schleich, Good Shepherd is generous with their time and resources, and they are also very accommodating. “They often change their programs based on the schedules of residents and their expressed interests. It’s clear how much they value our residents and are very excited to be a part of the community.”
Dee Wallace, in charge of the Youth Program and Volunteers at Good Shepherd Baptist Church, describes the long-term relationship they have established with CHP and the Linden Green community. “We are so happy with the environment at Linden Green since CHP purchased and began managing it in 2009. We have seen a real increase in the residents’ desire to engage and connect with each other. The residents have been more involved in resident activities such as grounds beautification projects and social events. We’ve also noticed a change in their attitudes. They don’t want to be limited by circumstance; they want to reach out to learn and grow and help. It feels much more like a community.”
Doris Phillips, a long-time resident at Linden Green, said of the Good Shepherd-hosted activities, “They are really good for the community. The volunteers are teaching Bible study and they have games and crafts too. I really think they’re good people.” According to Phillips, she never misses an activity that Good Shepherd hosts unless she has to.
Resident Kim Hosey is also a fan of Good Shepherd and its volunteers. “I can’t say enough about them, I just think they do a really good job here in the community.”
The value of Good Shepherd's contributions can not be overstated, Shleich stated. "Our resident services programs and the partners who help us deliver them are a critically important part of neighborhood development. With the types of activities and services provided by Good Shepherd volunteers, our neighborhood is a safer, higher quality place to live and our residents have access to many of the skills they need to thrive."