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United Methodist Retirement Communities Foundation, new name, expanded mission


(Chelsea Update would like to thank Matt Friedman for the information in this story.)

United Methodist Retirement Communities, Inc. (UMRC) a nonprofit leader in senior residential and healthcare services, recently announced changes to its separately-governed charitable arm, which has been known since 1998 as the UMRC Heritage Foundation.

The foundation is now known as the United Methodist Retirement Communities Foundation, a reflection of its mission to promote the wellness, dignity and independence of seniors by supporting the residents, staff and communities UMRC serves.

The foundation has focused on benevolent care since its inception – allowing qualified residents on UMRC’s Chelsea campus to remain in their homes if they outlive their savings.  To date, the foundation has provided more than $12 million in benevolent support.

Now, the foundation is reducing the criteria for assisted living residents of Chelsea Retirement Community to qualify for benevolent care.

“The needs of Michigan’s seniors will increase significantly in the coming years, so we are expanding our commitment to serve more seniors in more ways,” said John Thorhauer, UMRC president and CEO in a press release. “We are increasing the amount of benevolent support for our qualified residents by more than 20-percent annually.”

The foundation will reduce requirements for benevolent care and support the care of Methodist pastors, their spouses and their widows/widowers who require assisted living. In addition to increased benevolent care, the foundation is also adding new programs to support other important UMRC constituencies.

The foundation will fund scholarship and emergency aid to UMRC employees and granting opportunities improving the lives of seniors in the communities UMRC serves.

“The foundation is determined to keep benevolent care as our cornerstone while renewing our commitment to our Methodist history,” said Wendy Brightman, executive director of the UMRC Foundation in a press release. “I’m proud of the foundation’s new initiatives which will help an increased number of seniors while also supporting our caring staff and the communities UMRC serves.”

Building on a foundation of more than 100 years of service, United Methodist Retirement Communities is a faith-based, non-profit organization that promotes the wellness, dignity and independence of older adults, by providing high quality, innovative and compassionate senior residential care services across Southeast Michigan.

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