Camelia Gardens Assisted Living Facility, Durham, NC

In July of 2006, this WorldLegacy Leadership project transformed the courtyard and meeting room of Camelia Gardens. This extreme makeover included plating trees, bushes and flowers, installing a birdbath, creating new walkways, and adding outdoor seating and tables. The meeting room was redecorated and furnished and bookshelves were filled with books and games.

In July of 2006, the NC84 WorldLegacy Leadership team led the transformation of the courtyard and meeting room of Camelia Gardens Assisted Living Facility. In the courtyard, many trees, bushes and flowers were planted, a birdbath installed, new walkways created, and outdoor seating and tables with umbrellas were added. The result was a shaded, beautiful environment where Camelia Gardens residents could sit and relax or visit with others. The meeting room was furnished with comfortable armchairs, tables, lamps, and bookshelves filled with books and games. In addition, a valence was hung over the window and a quilt hung on the wall for decoration. The quilt was also created by our leadership group–it is a “vision quilt” made up of squares of fabric, each square having a vision for the world written on it by local community members.

The proud NC84 leaders are on the verge of completing the Leadership Program at the WorldLegacy. We have received coaching to translate our vision for life, community and world into concrete action and to act with a commitment to excellence that achieves extraordinary results. The vision of this group for the Camelia Gardens facility is to create spaces, both inside and outside the center, to allow connections to be made across generations. The courtyard is to become an oasis full of beautiful plant life and comfortable seating where generations of residents and guests can step out, sit, and share their experiences and thoughts. The meeting room is to become a comfortable reading and conversational area where the residents can sit, read, play games or work puzzles with visitors. The residents and guests can connect in these venues and develop stronger relationships across generations.

An additional component of the project is to arrange to have a local scout troop or youth group visit the facility on a regular basis, to create more opportunities for communicating and forming friendships across generations.

To carry out the project, our team could not use any money of our own, completed the project in one weekend, and enrolled other members of the community to participate in the project. Thus, while this project was inspired and led by the leadership team, the vision was realized through extensive community involvement.

Through the tools of my WorldLegacy Journey I realized my power to accomplish things I never could have before by setting my intention & following through.  I completed all but the 1st 2 weeks of leadership program on crutches after spontaneous foot fractures. I was NC 84 team all the way–Ropes Training, our Azalea Gardens Assisted Living Project & our 3rd weekend. The following weekend I went for the first of two projects I’ve shared helping Gulf Coast residents impacted by Hurricanes Rita & Katrina, an ongoing series of local fundraisers & “working vacations” to New Orleans. No team is too small or large!  Recently I was honored to participate in NC 120’s WorldLegacy Asheville’s project that will produce food in a sustainable setting. In my personal life I’ve created exponentially closer, more trusting relationships with friends & extended family. They get it that they are treasured gifts in my life & the world. I get it that I am loved & am a force for compassionate tough love. My brother I now get to garden together & speak from our hearts. My godchildren share their joys & concerns or simple call or text to tell me they love me. I get to be for them. I even get to “grandmother” their 5 children–an unexpected harvest & a joy beyond comprehension!

I created the perfect two-year job to fulfill a lifelong dream of nursing encompassing the whole life continuum from small children to elders. I am now creating a way to expand my sphere of influence as well as increase my financial security via nursing. I began an RN to BSN Program Summer 2010.  I attended the first few weeks’ classes on a walker with a spontaneous ankle fracture. My WorldLegacy experience taught me that there are many ways of walking with intention & enrolling others in your vision. This phase of my education is 100% funded & I got a 4.0 average for the term–a 1st! I am committed to 23 hours this fall.

Every day I find myself using my WorldLegacy tools, envisioning what I want to create, & going for it!  I’m grateful for the many gifts the Journey & my continuing WorldLegacy experiences manifest in my life & the world!

Helen Renee