Posted: December 19, 2022
Oh, the places we will go, thanks to a new van replacing the one stolen and wrecked more than a year ago! Dayspring Villa Assisted Living residents are thrilled with their new van, which marks the return to the active and vibrant experiences available to residents wishing to explore our beautiful Sloan’s Lake-Highlands neighborhood.
Dayspring Villa’s van was stolen from the community and wrecked in August of 2021. The damage to the van was extensive and resulted in a total loss, meaning residents and team members were without a vehicle to use for the trips and outings frequently on the community’s calendar.
Due to a supply shortage of similar transit vans and rising vehicle prices, Dayspring Villa and our parent organization, Colorado-based, non-profit senior living organization Christian Living Communities (CLC), embarked on a months-long journey to find a replacement van to support community life. CLC’s Senior Director of Programs Moriah Bernhardt applied for a Flexible Support grant from NextFifty Initiative, a Colorado-based, private foundation supporting efforts to improve the lives of older adults and their caregivers.
The Dayspring Villa and CLC teams learned in August of 2022 that they were awarded a $70,000 grant from NextFifty Initiative, which made it possible for CLC to purchase a brand new, ADA-compliant 2022 Ford Transit van.
Grace Nailing, Dayspring Villa’s Executive Director, shared, “I’m very appreciative of NextFifty and the $70,000 grant that they awarded us to be able to purchase a van for the residents. Our residents have been patiently waiting for the opportunity to have a van they call their own, and to be able to go on trips outside of our community.”
“I’m deeply grateful that NextFifty supports vital elder needs with grant funding in our Colorado communities, and that they chose to provide this grant funding to Dayspring Villa,” expressed Bernhardt. “Getting the van has already made a tremendous difference in residents’ attitudes and quality of life. They have opportunities to go out and explore the wider community, go shopping, try a new restaurant, see holiday lights, or hold a picnic in the mountains. They now have a different level of autonomy thanks to NextFifty Initiative’s grant support to purchase their new ADA vehicle.”
On November 1, 2022, Dayspring Villa residents and team members gathered outside the community to await its arrival, cheering as Cathy Pesola, Director of Transportation, turned the corner into the parking lot and drove the van – adorned with balloons – toward the entry drive.
Dayspring Villa residents Diana, Marian and Karin shared, “It looks nice inside. I like that it’s brand new. It has cup holders and outlets to plug in our phones. I like that our name is on the side too, it shows who we are and people can see that it’s us. It gave us freedom.”
For the residents’ inaugural outing in their new vehicle, they took a shopping trip to Walmart, where they enjoyed picking out holiday gifts for their friends and families.
“We are very appreciative and excited,” said Cassandra Vialpando, Life Enrichment Coordinator at Dayspring Villa. “We cannot wait for our light tour this coming December. It’s really making the holidays amazing for our residents. And we couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas present.”
Dayspring Villa is a non-profit assisted living community that is dedicated to enriching the quality and dignity of life for every individual. Located in the Sloan’s Lake neighborhood, Dayspring Villa offers compassionate, high quality, and affordable care in a city-close location.
This story was also published on The Denver Post’s YourHub.