My, how time flies!! Four years ago, on April 22, 2008, we opened our doors and welcomed the lovely ladies you see pictured here…Anne and Hailey. For many weeks we had fun with Hailey 4 days a week, and Anne visited once a week. The rest of our time was spent decorating, buying and planning our programs. This month we had our best week ever, with a daily average of 21 children and 31 seniors. We’ve come a long way, baby!!
As we think about this business of ours, we reflect on why we started Gentog. After 30 years working in corporate America, we wanted to create a business that allowed us to give back to our community. We wanted to be able to freely express and live our faith in our work. Murt had always wanted to work with children. I had always wanted to get back to working with seniors. And we wanted to do something together…so an idea was born.
We have been blessed with employees and volunteers that share our passion for providing loving care to children and seniors…and to bringing the two groups together. Every employee and volunteer brings a special love and spirit to our program. What has been created here is truly a group effort, and it continues to evolve because of the dedication of these fine people.
Oh, the beautiful children we have been privileged to care for! In these four years we’ve loved 104 children. We started with preschoolers only, and added infants 2 years ago. Murt says that everyday is a new adventure in the Gentog Childcare room! She has enjoyed learning new things as she studies Early Childhood Education…but the best part of the job is definitely the love and hugs she gets daily from these dear children.
We’ve met so many awesome seniors!! To date we’ve enjoyed caring for 186 seniors…ranging from age 55 to 101. Gentog seniors include people from every walk of life…former teachers, preachers, veterans, farmers, lawyers, doctors and housewives. We hear so many wonderful stories (most of them are even true!), and we spend our days playing, singing, visiting and laughing. Who could ask for more?
We knew when we opened our doors that we would have wonderful days with children and seniors. A bonus has been how close we’ve become with the families that bring their loved ones to us. We are truly blessed by the relationships we’ve formed with the parents of our Gentog children and with the spouses and children of our Gentog seniors. We definitely have one big wonderful family!!
For me, the biggest blessing of Gentog has been in becoming a family caregiver that takes true advantage of the what is provided here. For the past 2 years my Grandma Helen (93) has been living with me during the week and attending the senior program. And this year my grandson Braylon (1) who also lives in our home, attends the infant program. I know first hand the benefits of the care we provide here, and I’m living my commitment to bring generations together!!
So where do we go from here? Our goal in this 5th year of business is to fill our center to capacity. We’re 75% of the way…we’re aiming to have 30 children and 40 seniors daily before the year is over! Our next step will be to expand. Ours is a neighborhood based program…it is difficult for families to travel far from home or work for daycare…so we hope to bring our program to other parts of our metropolitan area in the coming years.
Thanks to all of you that have helped spread the word about our program. Thanks to all of you that have shared loved ones with us. And special thanks to all of you that have kept Gentog in your prayers these 4 years.