What if every time you tried to help someone they said, “Oh no thanks, we’ve got this” – what would that feel like? Unfortunately, because of ageism and ableism, too many older adults know exactly what it feels like to live without purpose. The resulting helplessness it can cause is painful and destructive to our health and well-being.

That’s not the case for Sharon, a CLC resident living at Clermont Park.

Thanks to caring donors, her life is filled with purpose, joy, and a whole lot of plants. She has tended one of the community’s Eldergrow gardens for the last two years, and it is thriving under her love and care. Twice every day, Sharon asks a team member to help her to the community room where she gets to work carefully misting the plants with a good drink of water. “It’s just beautiful,” she says. “It makes me feel good.”

Sharon caring for Eldergrow GardenShe loves every plant, but her current favorites are flowers with bright pops of color – a bright bromeliad and pink petunias that she describes as heartwarming. Her neighbors benefit, too – they love to look at the vibrant plants that bloom in all seasons.


Sharon wouldn’t have a garden to love without caring, warm-hearted people like you. Because of the love and compassion our supporters feel for older adults, Clermont Park was able buy the Eldergrow garden that brings such joy to Sharon and her neighbors.

Sharon likes to attend most programs – the Life Enrichment team says she especially relishes playing drums – but her true love is for the garden, with its upcycled resident-made decorations, edible bean sprouts that taste like spicy radishes, and fresh herbs like rosemary and mint that the residents make into snack dips.

After carefully watering the garden, she likes to sit and talk with the plants. She feels that they respond well to being spoken to kindly and with love. “My heart and soul are here. I even pray for them – come on plants, grow, grow!”

There are many gardens across CLC – indoor gardens, patio gardens, backyard gardens, herb gardens, pollinator gardens, and flower gardens. Each and every community garden is a visual story of the residents that love and tend to them with joy and care.


About the Author

Stormie Foust Maley

Stormie Foust Maley, Annual Giving Manager, is a born Midwesterner and Certified Eden Alternative Educator who believes passionately that individuals can make a difference in the lives of others. She worked for nine and a half years at Dayspring Villa Assisted Living, a neighborhood of Christian Living Communities, prior to her role as Annual Giving Manager. There she learned firsthand the joy of building a purposeful and resilient community through a person-directed care mindset.

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