Residents of The Legacy Willow Bend, Plano’s only life care retirement community, always look for ways to help those in need. Over the last year, the Men of the Legacy have dedicated their philanthropic efforts to supporting various organizations in the Plano community to make a difference in the lives of others, including Minnie’s Food Pantry, Jewish Family Services and the CORE Store. The group formed in 2018 to give male residents living at the community the opportunity to gather together with a common purpose of philanthropy, as well as a way to socialize with one another and build new friendships. For many of the residents volunteerism has always been an important aspect of life, and by starting the group they were able to do so in a way that also provided a sense of fellowship. Since the group’s inception in 2018, they have completed 215 hours of volunteer activities with no intention of slowing down anytime soon. This year as the group becomes more involved in serving the Greater Plano community, they are partnering with female residents at The Legacy Willow Bend who want to join them in their efforts to give back to those in need.
“Last spring, several of the men, here at the legacy got together and realized that we had a need and desire to do something for the betterment of our Plano community. We had done this all of our lives and after our retirement, we did not want to stop helping,” said Buddy Rosenthal, resident of The Legacy Willow Bend. “We all got together and began brainstorming opportunities to get involved. We knew it needed to be something that would enable as many of us to participate as possible. We have 44 men living in independent living who call The Legacy Willow Bend home, and we wanted everyone to be included. The average age of those in the group is 81, and it’s something unique to see as we work to support the community. It’s been special working together to do something for someone else and seeing them benefit in a positive way. The majority of us have served in various volunteer capacities all our lives, and we knew that’s what was missing. This group gives us those opportunities back and allows us to connect with the greater community.”
At Minnie’s Food Pantry, which the group visits on the last Friday of each month, the Men of the Legacy help to organize and unpack new items and assist in any other capacity needed. However, the group’s work at Minnie’s is only the beginning, as during 2018 they also collected school supplies for Jewish Family Services, packing 80 backpacks together to help local students as they made their way back to school. Additionally, the group has established an ongoing relationship with the CORE Store in support of the Plano Independent School District. The store was established as a nonprofit organization in support of Plano schools which allows teachers to come in and collect school supplies and other classroom materials for low-income students. Recently, The Men of the Legacy organized an end-of-year fundraiser during the holiday season, and donated all funds raised to the store. Each of these efforts showcases the group’s belief in supporting the community and their determination to make a difference.
“It’s incredibly meaningful for all of us to see the effects of what we’ve accomplished as a group for the community,” said Dave Ohman, resident of The Legacy Willow Bend. “It gets to you when you actually see the need, especially right here in Plano where everything looks alright. It definitely puts things in perspective and reminds all of us that there’s still plenty to do. We’re currently looking for new ways to get out in the public this year, as well as how we can make a difference right here at The Legacy Willow Bend. The beauty of making a difference is that you never have to look too far, and you don’t need to do much to make an impact.”
The group is incredibly proud of its efforts and will continue building upon the foundation of service that has long been fundamental to The Legacy Senior Communities. This tenant of service and dedication to others is what drives The Men of the Legacy, and they hope their good work will serve as a model to inspire the future Men of The Legacy Midtown Park and help impact those in need. The Legacy Midtown Park will share many similarities with The Legacy Willow Bend, and the Men of the Legacy look forward to encouraging them in their efforts to meet the critical needs of the greater community.
“At The Legacy Willow Bend, we believe in the importance of supporting the greater community and making a positive impact in the lives of others,” said Laura Levy, executive director of The Legacy Willow Bend. “We’re humbled by the efforts of residents who make it a priority to serve and make a difference. The Men of the Legacy have reminded all of us of the power of generosity and kindness, and we are proud to stand alongside them in their efforts to better the greater community.”