Lee Students Serve Senior Living Communities – The Chattanoogan

Over 40 new Lee University freshmen recently served at one of two local partner senior living communities, Avail Senior Living and Garden Plaza of Cleveland, as part of the students’ introduction to service-learning, one of Lee’s core values.

At the facilities, students participated in a variety of activities with the residents, including ping pong, corn hole, puzzles, putt-putt golf, basketball, Connect 4, card games, Wii bowling, dominoes, singing, and more.

This service experience was part of Lee University’s annual Deke Day event. Since 2003, Lee’s Leonard Center has hosted Deke Day during the semester’s opening weekend, an opportunity for incoming students to serve at nursing homes and retirement communities.

“Our partners were thrilled to be able to host Lee volunteers for Deke Day this spring,” said Valerie Corbett, service projects coordinator at the Leonard Center. “They look forward to seeing more students volunteer in person at their facilities throughout the semester!”

“Deke” is derived from diakoneo, a Greek word in the Bible meaning “to serve.” Students get to interact with residents and, in the process, come to gain a better understanding of the service-learning program and engage with classmates in a meaningful way.

“The Avail community was so grateful to be selected as part of Deke Day,” said Kim Brooks, director of sales and marketing for Avail Senior Living. “Witnessing the two generations come together to serve each other was inspirational. The intergenerational experience was uplifting and beneficial for all our residents and staff.”