Marc Browne, Director of Special Projects at Whitney Center, a Life Care Community in Hamden, CT, normally spends his workday designing new senior living buildings, directing renovation projects and planning apartment remodels for incoming residents. But recently, instead of focusing on ways to enhance and improve life for the retirees who make Whitney Center their home, he took a brief hiatus from the senior crowd and spent a few days focusing on a completely different demographic – eighth-grade children.
“I was charged with helping a group of students design, engineer and build an earthquake-proof structure as part of the school’s math-science initiative,” says Marc. “Our approach was first to build a platform that simulated an earthquake, and then build a viable structure.”
According to Marc, the experience was fascinating in countless ways. Perhaps most notably is how technology is now a part of the students’ everyday life. “When we were designing the structure, I was helping them with math – the way I learned math,” he says. “The students would always be quick to let me know there’s a newer way of doing this and it was often via an app! And you know what? It worked!”
Marc admits he was a little surprised at the determination and creativity of the students and says he enjoyed watching even the shyest of children coming out of their shells. “Everyone enthusiastically participated,” says Marc. “And when they hit roadblocks – like when they discovered their pyramid-style structure would not hold the required occupancy – they discussed it, brainstormed ideas and came up with viable solutions to overcome their problems. It was really cool.”
Marc says it’s important for Whitney Center to nurture a lifestyle that empowers employees to give back. “If you think volunteering is just a nice thing you do for others … think again,” he says. “A growing body of research points to the social, emotional and even physical health benefits of volunteering. In short, creating a culture of volunteerism doesn’t just help others, it also helps your organization – and we find that to be very true at Whitney Center.”
Michael Rambarose, President and CEO at Whitney Center, agrees. “Volunteering can be a life-changing experience and an important chance for employees to build new skills. We are committed to being good stewards of our community and volunteering helps us stay true to that promise.”
Marc says Whitney Center employees are eager volunteers. “Our employees have a wide variety of interests and passions, and it shows in the causes and organizations they support,” he says. “Their unique set of skills and knowledge can help others in a myriad of ways, from mentoring and tutoring younger generations to providing career guidance to feeding and clothing the disadvantaged to offering companionship and care.”
“At Whitney Center, we believe that we have a responsibility not only to our own community but to the communities of Hamden and the Greater New Haven area,” adds Michael. “This is why Whitney Center, its staff and residents take such an active role in volunteering and developing collaborative relationships with our neighbors and supporting programs that improve the quality of life in our community.”
Marc calls volunteering “a Whitney Center tradition,” and explains that he takes the time to contribute because it brings greater depth and joy to his job: “I love my work, and I love working with seniors. Volunteering enriches that. It brings a new perspective into my daily routine and adds a little more fun into it.”
Marc adds that many within Whitney Center agree, which is a prime reason why the staff and residents take such an active role in volunteering, developing collaborative relationships with community neighbors, and supporting programs that improve the quality of life both within and outside of the Whitney Center walls.
Our Volunteers Make a Difference
Whitney Center leadership, employees and residents are active in the community, giving their time and expertise to a variety of local organizations including Habitat for Humanity, The New Haven Community Soup Kitchen, Highville Charter School, IRIS Integrated Refugee &Immigrant Services, The Shore Line Trolley Museum, Yale Sustainable Food Program, and Yale-New Haven Hospital, to name a few.
Discover Excellence in Senior Living.
At Whitney Center, you’ll find a distinguished senior living community where employees love their jobs and residents do what they love to do! Located in Hamden, Connecticut, Whitney Center combines all the cultural, educational and historical charms of the Greater New Haven area with the intricate details of daily life for active seniors. Whitney Center is a Life Care community, offering not just an unparalleled independent living lifestyle, but a full continuum of care services as well, including assisted living, rehabilitation, skilled nursing care, and memory care. Whitney Center even offers a home-based health and wellness membership program, Thrive at Home, which connects seniors to the services they need to live well in their own home.
Contact Whitney Center today to learn more about our Life Care community!