The Sharon at SouthPark has been honored for its service to the community, a reflection of our commitment to lifting up those in need by receiving the LeadingAge North Carolina Excellence in Community Service Award for 2023.
Excellence in Community ServiceThe Excellence in Community Service Award was presented by LeadingAge North Carolina on May 4 in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The theme of the association’s Annual Conference and Expo – “The Greater Good” – spoke to the work for which we were recognized.
The Sharon at SouthPark partners with UNC Charlotte, Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation and the Community Health Clinic to provide free health screenings to older adults. Screenings include blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, pulmonary lung function and body composition. Since the program began in 2016, thousands of screenings have been provided to older adults who otherwise might not have the means to do so due to lack of insurance and transportation.
Also, The Sharon at SouthPark funds seven UNC Charlotte graduate assistants to work at local senior centers, promoting such activities as walking groups, yoga, aerobics, balance and more. They also track participants’ progress and cheer them on with smiles and “Way to go’s!”
The Sharon at SouthPark’ Mission
Through this initiative and others, The Sharon at SouthPark lives out its mission. As Jessica Bourque, our Director of Vitality and Well-Being, wrote in the nomination form, “The Sharon at SouthPark realizes that not everyone is lucky enough to live in a community like ours. We think it is imperative that all older adults have the opportunity for joy, purpose and well-being. We are passionate about this mission and doing as much as we can to help accomplish this inside and outside our walls.”
In that spirit, other initiatives abound. Our partnership with the nonprofit InReach has brought people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to The Sharon at SouthPark as paid employees and residents. We were the No. 1 team in Charlotte’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s and also held our own walk on campus. Every other week, we provide breakfast for 60 people seeking help at Crisis Assistance Ministry. In 2022, knitters among us provided handmade hats and scarves to the nonprofit Classroom Central. Residents also tagged and bagged new stuffed animals for children in local hospitals.
President & CEO Angela Rigsbee and Board Chair Richard L. Nichols Jr. captured who The Sharon at SouthPark is this way: “As always, we shared our blessings with others.”
LeadingAge North Carolina, through advocacy, education, innovation and collaboration, supports those who serve and care for older adults.