Around the Coffee Table

Endless Opportunities

Endless Opportunities

Engaging Activities fill the Life Enrichment Program

Are you interested in knowing more about using computers? Maybe you like to attend musical shows in Des Moines? Perhaps you want to be a world traveler? The Life Enrichment Program at Friendship Haven helps make all of these interests, and many more, available for both residents and their families.

Steve Ehrhardt, Director of Life Enrichment for Friendship Haven, leads the organizing of events and activities for residents to enjoy, gain skills and further enrich their lives. The number of activities currently in place at Friendship Haven continues to grow and brings many residents together.

For those interested in continuing to learn, Senior University is a multi-session activity where participants focus on the study of a specific topic. Currently, residents participating in Senior University are watching a documentary called Planet Earth and engaging in discussions about what they are learning. In coordination with Iowa Central Community College, students are able to work with residents to teach them new skills as well. One of the topics enjoyed by many residents was a class led by Iowa Central Community College (ICCC) students in which they taught attendees more about computers.

Also coordinated through the Life Enrichment Program is the Stop and Shop, a small store located in the main entrance of Friendship Haven. Led by resident volunteers, this shop is open six days a week and sells items such as snacks, non-perishable items, cards and toiletries. Helping keep the shelves stocked and handling transactions in the store provides another opportunity to stay involved and active on campus. Proceeds of the store goes towards maintaining it and any additional is donated to a charitable fund or project chosen by the residents.

If music is life enriching for a resident, the Resident Chorus or Bell Choir are fantastic options to become involved with. Each group meets once a week to practice and often helps with worship services and puts on a holiday program. Music students from ICCC join Friendship Haven as well and host the choral students’ final exam concert in the Celebration Center; an event open for all residents to enjoy.

One of the highlights of the Life Enrichment Program at Friendship Haven is the Travel Club, comprised of over 800 members, including residents, family and community members. The travel club works with Northland Travel to organize multiple trips throughout the year. Trips range from one day trips to places like the Civic Center in Des Moines, cities such as Minneapolis, or even local favorites such as The Community Orchard. On average, each month includes a one day trip, and there are three additional larger trips planned throughout the year. Already, two trips have been put on the calendar for 2017 which include a British Isles Cruise in April and an Alaskan Cruise in September. For each of these trips, a motor coach will pick up residents directly, so transportation is never a problem, and family members are invited to join.

One look at the News and Do’s resident newsletter for Friendship Haven and it is evident that the number of life enriching activities is vast. While there is certainly something for everyone, adding new options is always open at Friendship Haven. Steve welcomes new ideas to consider, especially those from residents. By working with the Advisory Board Committee, Steve hears from each section of campus and meets with staff each month to share ideas that could be added or expanded to the Life Enrichment Program.

Every resident is encouraged to give an activity a try. If it isn’t something they find enjoyable, no need to keep taking part. There is sure to be another activity around the corner to try instead.