Aging with Grace: The Shepherd’s Center of Kernersville
By Lynne Garms
The Shepherd’s Center of Kernersville (TSCK) began in 1985 when a group of women came together with others from the community and formed a task force to meet the needs of the most vulnerable navigate the challenges and difficulties of aging. After 36 years of successful service to others, The Shepherd’s Center of Kernersville enters a new era of growth and service to the community. Through the faithful support of our community, the bequeaths and legacy gifts, and the many financial donations, TSCK has been able to purchase our own building. The programming (Senior Enrichment Center) and services (Bodenhamer office) now operates out of the same location for the first time. After moving in mid-October, we opened their doors on November 1st.
What a wonderful thing to see, the faces of our program participants coming into a beautiful building to work, exercise, play, and learn together. On the other side of the building, calls are coming in from families and individuals in our community reaching out for help and answers. Staff and volunteers respond by listening, encouraging, and meeting the needs of seniors. Providing rides to dialysis and other medical appointments, helping change light bulbs, installing safety bars, building handicapped ramps, loaning durable medical equipment, and visiting with others are some of the services offered at TSCK. The heart of The Shepherd’s Center of Kernersville is honoring one another and respecting the wisdom and legacy of our elders by sharing life together.
Along with entering a new building, The Shepherd’s Center of Kernersville celebrates its staff. On October 1, TSCK welcomed Lynne Garms as their new Executive Director. Lynne came to TSCK in 2018 as their Development Director. Lynne holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati and a Master of Science from Cornell University. She served as the Executive Director of Next Step Ministries from 2006 to 2015, then served at the Winston-Salem Rescue Mission and Bethesda Center for the Homeless. Lynne hopes to bring fresh insight and a desire to reach out and touch the lives of others in our community. Her passion for TSCK is to bring hope, a purpose, and a sense of belonging as we grow together.
An excellent and talented staff supports TSCK. Lisa Miller has remained a leader for over 21 years, bringing enrichment programming to the Senior Enrichment Center. Lisa’s assistant, Debbie Cornatzer, shows her creativity by designing the newsletter, handling social media, and serving as a program leader. Claire Winfrey, the Volunteer Services Manager, brings her expertise and caring spirit to our services programming and volunteer support.
Lynne says, “Our new location allows us to not only bring our programming and services together but to also reach out to others who are not aware of this valuable resource. It also allows us to develop new programming and services to meet the growing needs of our community.” She adds, “Our staff is dedicated to helping everyone feel accepted, loved, and encouraged to age with grace.”
The Shepherd’s Center of Kernersville is a volunteer organization that relies on the help and support of others in our community who share a desire to show God’s love to others by reaching out to our neighbors who have unmet needs. Volunteers are always needed as drivers to medical appointments, pick up and deliver groceries and medicine, help with minor repairs, or visit a senior who lives alone.
Volunteers can share their time by giving a caregiver a short break, serving as a translator, bringing new programming, helping with office duties, and participating in fundraisers.
We can learn much from one of the greatest resources we have, our elders. They have paved the way for us to move forward as the wonderful community we are, and we need to learn as much as we can from them. What an opportunity we all have as we listen, learn, serve, and grow!
Lynne and the staff welcome all ages to stop by for a visit and tour our new facility located at 636 Gralin Street, Kernersville. If you would like to learn more about the services offered or to volunteer, visit our website at www.shepctrkville.com or call 336-996-6696 for more information.