Korleen Schmidt sits in her comfortable suite in the Williamsburg neighbourhood in The Village at University Gates. She was one of the first residents in the new retirement home and she’s reflecting on her first month in The Village.
Opportunity seems to be the theme of the conversation; opportunity bound in spirituality. There were some challenges moving in under the umbrella of COVID-19 in the community, but the Village and the team have been entirely supportive.
Korleen is a woman of faith and she says she was compelled in part by her devotion to make the move to University Gates. The retirement home she moved from, as elegant as it was, didn’t nurture the spirit in those who are compelled by faith. The family that owns and operates University Gates, however, blends faith with service to community in all they do, and Korleen was drawn to their vision.
“The Schlegel Family is well known for their connection to the Mennonite community,” Korleen says. She describes her early connections with that community as a young girl in the small village of Hanover with only 500 people, one store, one little library and a dear friend named Shirley, whose father was a Mennonite minister. Korleen would spend time with Shirley and her family and would often attend Sunday services to listen to her friend’s father speak, learning a different perspective, but also understanding that the basic principles of faith and goodness are shared by all.
It’s something she carried with her all through life, and it carried her to her new home at University Gates. She’s excited in these early days to get to know the community, as new residents are moving in daily and each is a new potential friend.
“I really felt guided to come here,” Korleen says, and she’s looking forward to every opportunity that might lie ahead: friendships with residents and team members, yes, but also opportunities she may not yet be aware of.
“I feel that there’s a place for me here, a place where I can help out,” she says. “I don’t know what it is but there’ll be something where what I can do and what I have to offer will fit in.”
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