Building on the blessing: Volunteer builds TLC’s new blessing box

Christine Kyles grew up in a family of creators. Her mom made her children’s clothes, and her father had a shop in the garage where he worked with wood and metal. Her brother is a machinist.

“That’s the environment I grew up in. We did things for ourselves,” Kyles said. “I’m a hobby person.”

As she grew up, Kyles learned how to sew, embroider, and cross-stitch. When she decided to put new tile in her bathroom, she added that skill to her repertoire.

“I thought I’d give it a try, and it came out well,” she said. “Then I had more ideas of things I could do in my house with tile.”

When her sister wanted a new table, Kyles followed in her father’s footsteps and taught herself woodworking.

“He had gotten to where he wasn’t able to do as many projects. He decided I would get the woodworking tools and my brother would get the metalworking stuff,” she said. “He gave me his big commercial-grade table saw. I love that table saw.”

Kyles began volunteering at Trinity Living Center (TLC) in 2020 right before the COVID-19 pandemic began. Activities Director Andrea Moore reached out to her and asked if she could lead a woodworking activity for male participants.

After the first day, Kyles said she was hooked.

“It was so much fun. The men were so nice, and they laughed at my jokes,” she said. “We just had a good time.”

Since that day, Kyles has attended most of TLC’s events and supported the adult day service program in any way she can. When TLC wanted to pursue a new blessing box ministry, Moore knew just the person for the job.

Blessing boxes are honor system food pantries where people in need can find non-perishable food items and toiletries. Like little free libraries, they are stocked by community groups and individuals. The idea is that a person takes something when they need it, but when they have a little extra, they are encouraged to put items in the box.

The project was supported, in part, through an intergenerational grant from the Lutheran Services for the Elderly Endowment at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Foundation. Moore used the grant money to purchase the wood, and Kyles got to work building the box.

On a sunny day in March, TLC participants gathered outside with Kyles as Trinity Oaks Chaplain Pastor Jill King prayed over and dedicated the new blessing box.

“It was really nice,” Kyles said about the dedication. “And people stopped by right off the bat that day to look at it.”

TLC is partnering with local community organizations to fill the box. Church groups, Girl Scout troops, and individuals have stepped up to make sure there are plenty of blessings inside.

“I feel like I can be a lot of use to Trinity Living Center,” Kyles said. “I love the people. They really warm my heart, especially when we do an activity or something like the blessing box and they enjoy it. It makes me feel good.”

Beth Huber named Executive Director of Trinity Living Center

Beth Huber joined the team at Trinity Living Center in Salisbury, North Carolina as executive director in September 2021.

Huber was born and raised in Hickory, North Carolina and is a lifelong Lutheran. She attended Pfeiffer University where she met her husband, Dan. They are members of First Lutheran Church in Lexington, North Carolina and have two children, Amanda and Bart.

Through the years, Huber has been a part of Lutheran Services Carolinas (LSC) in different capacities. She is a licensed nursing home administrator and completed her administrator in training program at Trinity Oaks.

Most recently, she served as the director of independent living at Trinity Elms.

She said is pleased to begin a new chapter with LSC at Trinity Living Center.

“I am looking forward to seeing Trinity Living Center grow in its mission to serve and allow seniors and their caregivers much needed respite and therapeutic activity,” Huber said.” It is good to be in this place!”

 

Taste of Abundance is Back and Going Virtual for 2020

Trinity Living Center (TLC) is excited to announce its Taste of Abundance fundraiser is going virtual this year!

“We are committed to keeping everyone safe and encourage social distancing during these uncertain times,” Trinity Living Center Executive Director Christina Joyce said. “But that doesn’t mean we have to stop having fun, we just have to do it in a new way!”

This tasty fundraiser for the adult day program will be held via Zoom on Monday, Sept. 28 at 6 p.m. and will include some great auction items to bid on and testimonials from TLC participants, family members and volunteers. Faces of Trinity Living, a collaboration between TLC and local artists, will also be displayed during the virtual event.

The center also found a way to make sure everyone who purchases a ticket still gets to sample some delectable items from local restaurants and breweries.

There will be two levels of tickets sold to the event; one that will include a handmade bowl from Pottery 101 (while supplies last) and one that will come without a bowl. But every ticketholder will receive an event packet including a coupon card for samples from all of the food and beverage sponsors, a dessert to enjoy during the event, and a few other items.

The executive chef sponsor for the event is Cannon Pharmacy and the chef de partie sponsor is F&M Bank. Other sponsors include Hospice & Palliative Care of Iredell County, Ron & Barbarra Gadish, and the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Student Government Association.

Food and beverage sponsors include El Patron, New Sarum, LA Murph’s, Abigail’s, Country Donutz, Sweet Treats by Nevaeh, GQ Diner, The Honey Baked Ham Co., Hoff’s Grill, Fulton Street Bakery, Faith Soda Shop, Tamarac Marina and Restaurant, Douglas Vineyards, Massimo’s Artisan Sandwich Shoppe, Jeter’s Deli Café, Pelican’s SnoBalls of Salisbury, and Kelly Renee’s LLC.

The proceeds from this year’s event will help support TLC in offering a safe and loving place for many seniors in Rowan County. Through meaningful activities, socialization opportunities, nutritious meals, and medical monitoring, TLC offers an engaging environment for seniors to spend their day while their caregivers work or rest, safe in the knowledge their loved one is being care for by TLC’s devoted staff.

TLC is the only adult day program in the county and without these services, many of these older adults would either be at home alone or placed in long-term care prematurely and their wearied caregivers would have no other option for respite. TLC offers a lifeline to families when they need it the most.

We hope you will consider supporting this year’s event by purchasing one or more tickets. If you are unable to attend, you can also support this amazing program with a donation!

 If you have questions, please contact Trinity Living Center Executive Director Christina Joyce at 704-637-3940 or CJoyce@TrinityLivingCenter.net. To purchase tickets online, visit https://lscarolinas.net/taste-of-abundance-form/.

We hope to again make Taste of Abundance an event that brings the community together in a safe and virtual way, while raising funds that help TLC to nurture and care for Rowan County seniors and their families. Your contribution is truly a gift of compassion.

It’s all about the TLC: Trinity Living Center transforms life of long-term participant

It’s not a coincidence that the initials for Trinity Living Center are “TLC,” because tender, loving care is what the center is all about. Long-term participant Ruth is a great example of the miraculous things that can be accomplished with TLC — the place and the concept.

“If it hadn’t been for the Lord and TLC, I don’t know where I’d be,” Ruth said. “Because they always come to your rescue no matter what.”

When Ruth came to Trinity Living Center, she was anxious and depressed. She had become increasingly socially isolated, and with her physical health deteriorating, Ruth’s daughters— who also serve as her caregivers— began searching for some support.

They found Trinity Living Center in Salisbury, which offers adult day services for participants. The program includes daily activities and occasional outings along with exercise and engaging projects.

When Ruth began at TLC a decade ago, her mental and physical health were on a downward spiral. Severe depression had made common tasks such as meal preparation, housework, and bathing more than she could handle on her own. One of her daughters had moved in with Ruth to help care for her.

Ruth was also taking insulin shots to help keep her diabetes under control, a daunting task for anyone but especially so when combined with the crippling effects of severe depression.

To say that Ruth underwent a transformation after starting at TLC would be an understatement.

TLC gave Ruth a place to socialize and engage with others. She became happier. The depression lifted.

She has taken back her life and taken over her health, making smart decisions about the food she eats, participating in the daily exercises offered at TLC, and focusing her energy on activities that bring her peace.

Over the past several years, with the support of TLC, Ruth has worked diligently to lose weight, taking her BMI from “Obese Class II” to “Normal.” She no longer needs the insulin shots she used to depend on to keep her diabetes under control.

As Ruth renewed her spirit and well-being at TLC, a hidden talent emerged. It turns out that she is a fabulous artist. She began by painting lighthouses, and all of her pieces ended up in the homes of friends and family.

Art is therapeutic for Ruth, and her creations have been inspiring to others.

“I got encouragement from a lot of the staff about how good I was doing and the more they encouraged me, the more I wanted to do,” Ruth said. “It helps me relax. Sometimes I’ll make cards and send them to people who might need a lift up.”

Now that Ruth’s warm, happy spirit has returned, she is a terrific welcome ambassador to new participants, making them feel at home in the place that’s been so important to her.

“Ruth is definitely one of the people we would look to when a new person is coming in to make them feel welcome, to maybe even give somebody a little more information about what goes on because sometimes it’s easier coming from your peers than it is from somebody that works here,” says TLC Executive Director Christina Joyce. “Not everybody that’s here is able to communicate what goes on here throughout the day and tell the story, so Ruth is wonderful at that.”

When asked about her favorite part of the TLC program, Ruth said she can’t choose just one.

“It’s been a really good program for me, I enjoy all of it. It’s just an atmosphere I didn’t know existed,” she said. “I would recommend it to anybody. The staff is wonderful. The nurses are wonderful. Everybody is wonderful.”

My mother has a wonderful life. Even if she doesn’t know it.

SALISBURY – The classic film “African Queen” hit American movie theaters the year I was born, 1951. The film tells the story of a strait-laced spinster missionary in the African Congo (played by Katherine Hepburn) and a gin-swilling tugboat captain (Humphrey Bogart) who team up to sabotage a Nazi warship anchored hundreds of miles downriver. The constantly bickering odd couple sneak past German fortifications and deadly rapids and eventually find themselves stuck in a mucky swamp. With the boat’s motor broken, Bogart must get in the water and physically pull the boat through the weeds. Climbing into the boat for a short break, he and Hepburn are horrified: he’s covered with leeches. As Hepburn powders and plucks off the parasites, Bogart utters one of my favorite lines in any film: “If there’s anything in the world I hate, it’s leeches! The little devils!” But it quickly becomes apparent that if Hepburn and Bogart are going to reach their goal, Bogart must climb back into the water and carry on. A shadow passes over his face – one of resignation, fatigue, duty, and love (because of course by now he and Hepburn have fallen in love), and he gets back into the fetid water.

Read the Entire Article at SalisburyPost.com

Trinity Living at St. John’s to offer group respite care

SALISBURY  – Nearly one in four North Carolinians is providing care for someone aged 60 or older. And nearly half of those are caring for someone who has some degree of dementia.

Many of these caregivers are stretched to the breaking point and need some support. Trinity Living Center, a program of Lutheran Services Carolinas, has been providing just that for many years through its adult day program in Salisbury.

Later this summer, local caregivers who need some relief will have another option. Trinity Living Center is entering into a new partnership with St. John’s Lutheran Church in Salisbury to open a half-day group respite program — the first in the community — called Trinity Living at St. John’s.

Read the Entire Article at SalisburyPost.com

Patty Messick: A day without Trinity Living Center

SALISBURY – The alarm goes off. It’s 6 a.m. After sleeping with one eye open, Jane (not her real name) rises. On a normal day, Jane would dress herself, help her mother, who lives with her, get dressed, and head out for Trinity Living Center where Jane’s mother will spend her day while Jane goes to work.

However, the center has closed, and Jane has nowhere for her mother to go.

She calls in to work yet another time, knowing that her employer cannot continue to keep her job open while she tries to find care for her mother. She doesn’t want to lose her job, but she also doesn’t want to place her mother in long-term care. She’s just not ready to do that yet. Without Trinity Living Center, however, she has no choice.

Read the Entire Article at SalisburyPost.com

Laughter Yoga: It really is funny

SALISBURY — Joan Palmer directed the people in the semicircle with her to raise their arms and breathe in deeply.

Then on the release down toward the floor, she wanted them to give their best belly laugh possible. So it was up, breathing; down, laughing. And after you do this a few times with people all around, you really start laughing and feeling better.

There’s something funny about Laughter Yoga — and that’s the point.

Read the Entire Article at SalisburyPost.com

Salisbury residents “Paint the Town Purple” for Alzheimer’s awareness

SALISBURY —  Purple balloons adorned downtown sidewalks and storefronts Wednesday as a group of local residents sought to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease.

The “Paint the Town Purple” campaign involved participants placing purple and white balloons throughout downtown. It attracted representatives from multiple elder care facilities in the area and Billy Constangy, the district director for U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson.

Read the Entire Article at SalisburyPost.com

Salisbury Academy brings holiday cheer to Trinity Living Center

SALISBURY — For one of the participants at Trinity Living Center’s adult day services program, it’s hard to remember much about a typical day due to the advancement of her Alzheimer’s disease. But when Salisbury Academy’s first-graders come for their monthly book buddies visit, she can recount her day to her husband with enthusiasm.

“Ask her about anything else she’s done, and she won’t remember,” said Teresa Dakins, community outreach coordinator for Trinity at Home.

“The day the kids come she always remembers. It makes her husband’s heart so happy.”

Read the Entire Article at SalisburyPost.com

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