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Welcomes and Connections
Ruth Leopold

Shortly after John and I moved to Carolina Meadows nearly three years ago, our doorbell rang. A neighbor introduced herself, made a date to deliver a “Welcoming”” packet and help us get started on our lives here. Her visit proved to be most enlightening. We were grateful for her warmth.

That is the mission of the Welcoming Committee, to offer warm beginnings and to help newbies make connections. I talked with Helen Stedman, the committee’s chair, to learn about how its members fulfill their mission and to hear about their latest doings.

Helen said that the committee has a representative from every precinct, including the Fairways. When someone is moving here, Helen calls the representative in the appropriate precinct. That representative greets the person, visits, explains the material in the “Welcoming” packet and answers any questions s/he might have. The representative will offer to take them to their first precinct meeting, inviting them and other residents to dinner afterwards.

Three times a year, the committee gives Dutch-treat dinners where newbies can meet people from outside their precinct. An equal number of established Carolina Meadows residents are also invited. In September, the committee members were busy planning two separate dinners for 36 new residents. Their invitations arrived in colorful boxes, handcrafted by Bev Milton. Spouses sat at different tables so they could connect with more long-time residents. Newcomers had previously been introduced to the entire Meadows community at the Residents Association meeting.

The committee’s task is a vital one. Many of us came here from the Triangle area already knowing some residents. But there are many who come from farther afield, knowing no one. Helen agreed that making connections is a big part of the committee’s job, so that no one need feel isolated.

Kudos to our Welcomers!

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