Niagara Village helps prepare Erie students for the school year
Back-to-school shopping can be an exciting time of year for young children. However, some families do not have the financial resources they need in order to get school supplies. Recognizing the importance of setting students up for success, residents at Holiday Retirement’s Niagara Village turned their passion for education into action with The Mercy Center for Women.
The Mercy Center for Women is a nonprofit organization in Erie, Pennsylvania, which provides safe and supportive transitional housing, education and counseling for homeless women with or without children. The Center’s goal is to empower women to become self-sufficient by providing helpful and targeted resources.
Many of the women who are a part of the Center’s community have children who were in need of school supplies when the first day of school came around in August. Some residents at Niagara Village are retired teachers, so after learning about this need, they were inspired to ensure that no child from the Center would go to school feeling unprepared. In August, they began collecting donations and school supplies by hosting fundraising events and raising awareness for the cause around the senior living community.
Niagara Village enrichment coordinator, Jessica Gaton, hosted a “Trade Swap” event where residents donated items to be sold. For every item residents bought, $1 went toward the Center. Proceeds from the Resident Store were also donated to the cause.
Personal connection is an important part of volunteer efforts at Holiday Retirement communities. Niagara Village residents did not want to simply collect school supplies and miss out on engaging with these valuable and inspiring Erie community members. So, after several weeks of drumming up excitement at Niagara Village and collecting supplies, residents loaded up the retirement community’s bus to hand deliver their donations at The Mercy Center for Women. Niagara Village’s efforts provided more than 10 children with backpacks, pencils, notebooks and other tools to empower the children to do well and thrive this school year and beyond. Not to mention, residents spent time building relationships with the women and children who live there throughout the afternoon.
Through witnessing the joy that spread onto the children’s faces and the gratitude their mothers expressed, Jessica said the fundraising efforts were just as rewarding for the residents.
"We wanted them to be able to start the school year on a good foot and give them some supplies to help them throughout the year.”
Jessica and the residents were grateful for the opportunity to show kindness and support toward the women and children at the Center. It certainly won’t be the last time Niagara Village leaves their impactful volunteering stamp on the Erie-area!
Niagara Village residents aren’t the only ones making a difference in their community. See how other Holiday Retirement communities give back in these articles. And get in touch with us today if you or a loved one are interested in learning more about how Holiday Retirement residents make a difference in the lives of others.