Two women organizing books on a book shelf, smiling towards the camera

A Super Clean Out in the Southwest

When the pandemic put a pause on chair yoga, Brenda changed course and used her love for reading to help residents at Page Commons in Gilbert, Arizona, in another meaningful way!

Before COVID, Brenda taught adaptive chair yoga to senior residents at Page Commons. The group met once a week in the library, as they worked on stretches and exercises to help build muscle strength and improve overall balance to make everyday movements easier. It is critical to maintain physical and mental health the older we get, and Brenda supports residents with both!

Brenda’s support of Mercy Housing didn’t stop when in-person programming took a break. She reached out to Glenn, Resident Services Coordinator at Page Commons, to ask how she could continue to help. Without hesitation, Glenn suggested an overhaul of the library that had been collecting “unique treasures” over the years. Brenda recruited help from her friend Debbie to revamp the space so it could function at its full potential.

Over several weeks, Brenda and Debbie brought Glenn’s vision to life. They rolled up their sleeves and sorted through thousands of books, puzzles, games, movies, CDs, crafting supplies, and excess furniture to create a welcoming space for all to enjoy.

“Brenda is a one-of-a-kind volunteer. She kept in close touch with us during our closure, and noticed our library was in a state of disarray. Three weeks later, and over 100 hours of work, we had a downscaled, organized library. This was completed over a month ago and residents are still raving about what an awesome library we have,” said Glenn.
Anything not needed found a new home and Brenda estimates they donated over a thousand books to the local book drive.

A wide shot of a library room with two chairsA close up shot of the library's color coding system, with colored dots stating what kind of topic a book is labelled as

Brenda’s passion for a healthy mind and body is evident in everything she does for Mercy Housing. Proof of that is in the many meaningful relationships she has built with residents.
“I just want to see people smiling and recognizing me and knowing that I’m there. At first, they’re afraid to ask or they’re afraid to try and then they come to class and they’re happy with their ability. They don’t have to be perfect – it’s their willingness to try something new,” said Brenda.

Now Page Commons residents have a fresh, clean library space for all to use.

“It’s a lovely community of people that care for one another,” said Brenda. We couldn’t agree more, and we are thankful you are a part of ours!