Aging Well By Giving Back

Aging Well By Giving Back

When describing the experience of living at Acacia Creek, residents often include the word “family.” Acacia Creek’s welcoming culture gives residents an opportunity for camaraderie, community involvement, and peace of mind.

 

A Charitable Lifestyle

Resident Joseph Elleard was 86 when he and his wife, Gladys, moved to Acacia Creek. As they weighed their retirement options, living somewhere where their neighbors would share their personal commitment to charity and community was top of mind. A favorite cause of Elleard’s is Shriners Hospitals for Children in Sacramento, a philanthropy that treats children suffering from orthopedic challenges, burns, cleft palates, and other ailments – all at no charge. He has personally sponsored nearly 30 children.

Harvey McAninch is another Acacia Creek resident who supports of Shriners Hospital for Children. “My niece was born with physical ailments that were severe,” he says. “The St. Louis Shriners Hospital provided care all through her high school years at no charge.” Today, McAninch entertains children at the local hospital with his clown act, and plans to donate the proceeds from selling his former Santa Clara home to the hospital.

During the holiday season, McAninch inspired residents in Acacia Creek’s “90 Plus Club” to make a $5,000 donation to the hospital, which they presented in person. He plans to arrange a similar gift and trip this year.

 

Building Connections

At 94, John Mason is the kind of nonagenarian many people aspire to become. When his wife of 52 years, Joan, passed away, he liked the idea of moving to a community that would remove the hassle from daily living while providing lots of opportunities to stay busy. “Many activities here are centered around fellowship and charity, and Acacia Creek keeps you active,” he says. One of his favorite activities is catching up with friends during Monday morning bingo.

Acacia Creek’s social environment also appeals to Elleard. He is active in woodworking and other crafts, and is a member of the Model Airplane Club. On Saturday mornings when the wind is calm, members meet at the hilltop airstrip to fly their planes. “Sometimes our planes fly off into the wild blue yonder, but citizens will return them to us, “ he jokes. With the philanthropic contributions that brothers such as Elleard spread throughout the community, it is no wonder citizens return the lost model airplanes.

As more people are drawn to Acacia Creek’s vivacious lifestyle, the community is likely to grow in popularity as a secure, comfortable, and fellowship based option. The active involvement and leadership of residents like Elleard, McAninch, and Mason strengthen the community, facilitate brotherly bonds, and make relief through philanthropy a common practice. “We feel secure here,” says McAninch. “Living at Acacia Creek is like living with a large family.”