2017 Impact Report from The Forest at Duke

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Making a difference in Durham. 2017 Impact Report

THE FOREST AT DUKE is a vibrant, not-for-profit 501(c)3 continuing care retirement community that has welcomed residents from all over the world since its opening in 1992.



contributed locally through underwriting, event sponsorships, and general support

272 400 72,000


88¢ $432,000


team members employed community residents

hours volunteered by our residents and team members in our community of every dollar stays in our local economy

donated to community non-profits through in-kind donations

community organizations supported through financial support of in-kind donations and volunteerism


awarded in direct grants to community non-profits through our grantee program

scholarships awarded to team members through The Forest Employee Educational Assistance Fund since 2014


contributing over $1.8 million total dollars of support in our community

Messages from The Forest’s Leadership THROUGHOUT ITS HISTORY, The Forest at Duke has enthusiastically embraced the concept of community. The Forest prides itself on being a vibrant, welcoming group of individuals who have chosen to come together to create a meaningful life and community. A fundamental element of our understanding of community is the opportunity afforded us to partner with organizations dedicated to improving the lives of those around and among us. We are extraordinarily proud of the work performed by our partner agencies and the differences they are making in peoples’ lives. The residents and team members of The Forest are grateful for the ability to provide them with meaningful support. David Pottenger Chairman, Board of Directors The Forest at Duke

THE FOREST AT DUKE is a community comprised of so many people who have a long history of sharing their time, talent and treasure in an effort to serve and help those most in need in our community. In addition, our residents and team members have committed to enhancing and enriching the fabric of our community through avid support of the arts, education, research and advocacy. As such, the passions of our residents and staff are woven into the DNA of The Forest. I am honored and pleased to share our 25 years of community partnership with you. Anita L. Holt, MPH President/CEO The Forest at Duke


Just some of the ways The Forest has been a leader in social responsibility and outreach. REMOVING OBSTACLES FOR FAMILIES IN DURHAM The Forest at Duke is proud to support the Center for Child & Family Health as part of its commitment to enhancing the health and well-being of children in Durham. Since 1996, the Center for Child & Family Health (CCFH) has met the terrible reality of abuse, neglect, and other childhood traumas with evidence-based approaches to treatment and prevention. Founded by Duke University, North Carolina Central University, and the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, CCFH puts academic research into community practice to ensure that more children grow up loved, nurtured, and safe. In 2017, The Forest at Duke made a significant contribution to CCFH’s Family Support Fund, which improves treatment and prevention outcomes by meeting material needs for families in their care – needs such as transportation, food, household goods, and childcare supplies. By helping meet these needs, The Forest at Duke is removing obstacles that prevent families from getting the greatest benefit from the evidence-based care and support that CCFH provides. In 2017, more than 300 families have benefitted from this assistance.

IMPROVING ADULT LITERACY SKILLS The Durham Literacy Center works to empower Durham County residents who want to improve their lives and the lives of their families by improving their literacy skills. In one year, grant funds from The Forest at Duke provided instruction to approximately 70 older adult-students empowering them to reach their full potential in all areas of life, home, and community.

MENTORING YOUTH For nearly a decade, residents of The Forest at Duke have been proud participants in Project Learn, a program piloted through The Boys & Girls Club of Durham and Orange Counties. Through this program, our residents volunteer their time to spend an hour reading with youth. Resident volunteers give the youth an attentive audience to practice reading, which has been proven to increase academic performance.

FILLING EMPTY BOWLS Empty Bowls is a much anticipated community annual event that brings together top-rated restaurant chefs and bowl artisans to offer delighted attendees the chance to sample deliciously-crafted soups and select from hundreds of pottery and wooden bowls. Through chef participation and corporate sponsorship, we were proud to participate in the event that raised more than $52,000 for Urban Ministries of Durham.

Serving Our Community

The Forest at Duke has a long standing partnership with URBAN MINISTRIES OF DURHAM, a nonprofit that connects with the Durham community to end homelessness and fight poverty. Our partnership, which began with Forest residents volunteering their time to pack lunches, has grown to include participating in fundraising events, providing financial support through grants, and so much more. So when Director of Resident Life Sandy Mouras chose Urban Ministries of Durham as her volunteer site on a day of service with The Forest at Duke, she didn’t realize that it would be the first of many days happily given to the non-profit. Flash forward to today, Sandy serves on the board of Urban Ministries and chairs the Community Engagement Committee, in addition to a myriad of other ways she and her family work to give back through the organization. One weekend a month you will find Sandy, her husband Matt, and their 4 year old daughter Violet working in the clothing closet, a free clothing store that serves over 500 households per month. Donations are sorted thoroughly, zippers tested and fabrics inspected, ensuring that shoppers are given the dignity of choice. And each year on Sandy’s birthday, her family gathers for a bit of an untraditional birthday party. “We celebrate my birthday at the Empty Bowls fundraiser,” Sandy explained, “supporting Urban Ministries is the perfect gift.” Just like many of us here at The Forest at Duke, Sandy exemplifies that “a day of service” is more than just one day.


Feeding Families

Founded by members of

DUKE UNIVERSITY RETIREE OUTREACH (DURO), The Family Backpack program at Lakewood Elementary school started with a big and seemingly impossible vision from Durham resident Nancy Austin. She felt strongly that DURO couldn’t send home backpacks with food for the weekend with just enough for the child. “As someone who had known hunger,” DURO member Margaret Hodel explained, “Nancy knew that we couldn’t just feed the child; we had to feed the entire family.” And so, against many odds, volunteers came together and created an entire food pantry within Lakewood Elementary. In the beginning the pantry supported 8 families with meals. But as the program continued, the volunteers quickly realized they could be feeding so many more. So with grant funding from The Forest at Duke, DURO increased the giving to now feed 30 families, over 150 individuals, for 7 meals each and every weekend. “We are constantly struck by the success of the program,” program chair Judy Berry reflected, “ and we hope to do more.” With 98% of the school children enrolled in free or reduced meals while at school, Judy knows that the program can continue to grow. “With The Forest at Duke as our partner and support from the school, I know we can feed any family that may be in need.”


Supporting Neighbors

Founded the same year, 25 years ago, CARING HOUSE and The Forest at Duke have a long history of being good friends and great neighbors. In fact, many residents of The Forest at Duke were a part of creating Caring House and spearheaded the mission to help those battling cancer. The vision of Caring House is truly an inspiration, providing patients at the Duke Cancer Institute with not only affordable housing while receiving treatment but also a healing environment and a supportive community. Far from being simply a hotel, Caring House provides several programs, such as massage, art therapy, pet therapy, and more, making each stay for the over 15,000 total guests served that much more meaningful. In addition to financial support from The Forest, many residents of our community volunteer their time at Caring House, greeting guests and covering administrative duties. Executive Director Sheridan Van Wagenberg notes that the volunteer hours have “been instrumental in furthering the development of our neighborly relationship.� And two of those volunteers have a very special bond with Sheridan, as they happen to be her own parents, Mr. and Mrs. Townsend. Residents at The Forest since 2012, Mr. and Mrs. Townsend are extremely proud of what their daughter has accomplished and what critical services Caring House has been able to provide to the people who need them the most.


Hope for the Holidays

For the past three years, The Forest at Duke has been a proud sponsor of Hope for the Holidays, an annual event hosted by THE BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB OF DURHAM AND ORANGE COUNTIES to benefit their club kids. The Forest partners with the local radio station Mix 101.5 and a local restaurant for a holiday party everyone will remember. Great food, music and a visit from Santa Claus himself are all a part of the celebration. The fun for The Forest starts weeks prior to the actual event as we put on our elf hats and prepare. Team members and residents work together to shop for gifts, each one specially chosen for each individual child. Once purchased, the gifts are then wrapped with care, ready to spread joy to each boy and girl. These simple acts, from giving to receiving, help ensure that everyone has a cheerful holiday season.


Giving back. THE FOREST AT DUKE actively searches for ways to be involved in our community and give back. Through our Grantee Program, The Forest has distributed over $1.8 million dollars in funding to area non-profit organizations. Each year we award new grantees with financial support, and we highlight each non-profit organization and the work they do to enrich the lives of Durham residents. ACHIEVEMENT ACADEMY

















PROMOTING HEALTHIER LIVING FOR DURHAM SENIORS Senior PharmAssist promotes healthier living for Durham seniors by helping them obtain and better manage needed medications, and by providing health education, Medicare insurance counseling, community referral and advocacy. Grant funding from The Forest at Duke assisted over 700 seniors with Medicare counseling, medication reviews and even provided some seniors with a year’s worth of medications.

FEEDING OUR COMMUNITY Each weekday, Meals on Wheels of Durham provides a hot, home delivered, well balanced meal to Durham County residents who are unable to provide or prepare meals for themselves. Grant funding from The Forest at Duke will purchase 6,500 meals, feeding 25 people for an entire year.

SUPPORTING THE ARTS The Forest at Duke is dedicated to a vibrant arts community. We are proud partners of the NC Symphony and enjoy sponsoring the LEGENDS Concert & Comedy Series at the Durham Performing Arts Center. We also support groups and organizations such as Playmakers, the Durham Community Concert Band, the Triangle Wind Ensemble, the Triangle Jewish Chorale, and more, all of which play a big part in shaping the cultural landscape of Durham and beyond.

Want to learn more? Call 919-433-2361 or visit us at forestduke.org.