By LANCE CRANMER email@example.com
MEMPHIS – When Ronald Cash walks down the hall at National Church Residences Newberry Heights senior community in Memphis he is greeted with an overwhelming response.
“I go down there and walk through and see everyone and they know your face and they just come and say thank you,” Cash said. “When you do good for somebody, they remember it.”
Cash, a member of Memphis Masonic lodges J.W. Smith #376 and Widow’s Son #127, was looking for a good cause that he and his fellow Freemasons could donate their services to a few years back. That’s when he decided to reach out to Takyri Green, an old friend of his who works as the Service Coordinator at Newberry Heights.
“I’ve known Ms. Green from a lot of things she did with the Boys and Girls Club,” Cash said. “My daughter was involved with her program. And over the years we became friends.”
Green said that she knew the lodge had been volunteering at the elementary school down the road from Newberry Heights and that they were looking to do more positive things in the nearby community.
“His Masonic Lodge was looking to adopt a property,” Green said. “It just so happens our property is right down the street from the school.”
The Masons first donation to the residents of Newberry Heights came just a few years back.
“The first project was Thanksgiving,” Green said. “They donated a turkey and a basket of all the fixings to every resident to make a Thanksgiving dinner.”
In the time since, the Masons’ relationship with Newberry Heights has continued to grow.
“When I got involved with Masonry I looked for charities we could get involved with,” Cash said. “We love working with children. We love working with the elderly. People get caught up in their lives and they don’t always think about the elderly. But they’re the ones who got us here.”
Last year the lodge held its first Christmas party for the Newberry Heights residents. Back in February they organized a Valentine’s Day dance where everyone wore red (see the photos above and below). In the near future, Cash said plans for a Family Day BBQ are in the works.
“They’ve been really good to us,” Green said. “They also work with some children and they want to come and volunteer and be around the property. (Cash) just wants to know what they all can do to be part of Newberry Heights.”
“We really try to take care of everything,” Cash said. “That’s what this organization is all about … charity. Bringing people together.”
For a senior community like Newberry Heights, volunteerism can make a huge difference in the lives of the residents.
“It’s really important to us,” Green said. “Us, being a smaller property with just the property manager and myself, it’s hard to get vendors to come in. For them it’s all about the business. But when you have volunteers come in it’s 100 percent about the residents.”
“I really enjoy it over there,” said Cash. “It’s laid back and clean and nice. The people who work there, they’re always there and they’re always so helpful. When we go there for events they take care of everything. It makes me want to give back to there even more.”
When events are on the schedule, Green said residents come to her to find out all they can in advance.
“They love it. They ask me a million questions,” Green said. “They want to know when the events are and they want to have the correct attire on. It’s a really big hit.”