Gathering at the Centre Hills Country Club today, about 40 members of Centre Foundation’s Anniversary Circle came together for the annual luncheon.  They heard presentations about special projects in need of funding from this year’s three finalists:  House of Care, Centre County Youth Service Bureau, and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Centre County.  Afterward, members had a difficult task:  voting for just one of the projects.  After tallying the votes, Executive Director Al Jones announced that the House of Care would be the recipient of the $10,000 Anniversary Circle 2013 Grant.

“On behalf of all of our Anniversary Circle members here at Centre Foundation, we are delighted to award the House of Care this $10,000 grant so they can continue providing great service in a home environment under a new, sturdy roof,” said Jones. 

Board member Jeannine Lozier and Administrator Audrey Smith gave a 10-minute presentation to the Anniversary Circle.  Lozier began by telling a story about a former resident who had no family members left, so when he passed away the House of Care held a memorial service to honor his life because they had become his family.  This theme continued throughout the presentation, as Lozier explained that so much more than just administering prescriptions is provided to their residents.  “We do more than just care for them, we love them,” Lozier said.  She continued, “This project is not about a roof.  It’s about people…Our residents open their doors into a home, not a hallway.”

Replacing the roof ensures that the House of Care can continue to provide the most basic level of service, providing a safe and secure roof over their residents’ heads.  Lozier went on to say that it “ensures that we remain a home for our residents, now and in the future.”  For an organization that only receives 30% of its operating budget from the residents, the Anniversary Grant will make an enormous and immediate impact on financing the new roof.

The House of Care will use this money to put a new roof on their building, which has not been replaced since 1974.  The two-story, 1920s building is home to persons of low income, with little or no family support, and who are challenged by terminal illness, or are not able to fully care for themselves due to physical or mental limitations.  The House of Care is able to care for up to five residents at a time and facilitates a family-setting by having family meals in the kitchen, group activities in the living room, and working together in the garden.

Residents also go on field trips together.  They enjoy Spikes games and visits to Tait Farm to play with the basset hound puppies.  One resident who has dementia is especially soothed by the interactions with the puppies, as well as by the baby chicks that one staff member provided.  Another resident voiced his desire to have a garden, which bloomed into a reality that all the residents now enjoy.  He and the “gardening angel” volunteers maintain the garden year round, from planting to harvesting.

The House of Care joins our other Anniversary Circle grant recipients: Discovery Space of Central Pennsylvania, Housing Transitions, Strawberry Fields, Park Forest Day Nursery, Interfaith Mission and Community Help Centre.  To learn more about joining the Anniversary Circle, please call our office at 237-6229.

Finally, a big thank you to this year’s Nominating Committee members:  Blake Gall, Lam Hood, and Donna Litke.  We would also like to recognize the other presenters who did a great job:  Denise McCann from the Youth Service Bureau and Jill Redman from Habitat for Humanity.