Spring Arbor celebrates 20 years in Kinston
Kinston Mayor Don Hardy cuts the ribbon during the Spring Arbor of Kinston 20-year celebration. Photo by Brandon Davis / Kinston-Lenoir County Chamber of Commerce
A celebration was held Thursday for an organization that has provided 20 years of service to Kinston.
Spring Arbor of Kinston had a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the occasion, with the organization reaching a grand milestone. Spring Arbor specializes in assisted living for senior citizens and houses more than 70 in Kinston, providing care throughout.
Virginia Barnette, who has been at Spring Arbor for more than two years, said her stay has been almost perfect.
“If you had to ask me what I didn’t like, I’d have to say ‘nothing,’” Barnette said. “I love the people, the caregivers, the attention they give us and the courtesy they show us. Once in a while, I do get lonely because I don’t have a whole lot of family, but I can talk to one of my neighbors.
“They also have activities for us and Kenny Taylor sometimes comes out and plays the piano. He can really play and sing, and entertains us when he gets the opportunity.”
Barbara Johnson, who has resided at Spring Arbor for nearly three years, said the efficiency of the workers has been amazing.
“Everyone’s as nice as can be and I’ve never had a problem,” Johnson said. “Everything I’ve needed, they’ve done for me.”
Greg Fox, director of operations with HHHunt — the parent company of Spring Arbor — said he’s seen the great chemistry of the Spring Arbor of Kinston staff throughout.
“This team is so close to each other and focuses on the mission of giving residents an enjoyable time,” Fox said. “They’re enthusiastic about helping seniors enjoy this chapter of life and really bring everyone together.”
Spring Arbor Executive Director Stephanie Alphin said the staff takes time to provide true care each shift.
I think anybody who’s a caregiver will tell you it’s not just a job, it’s an act of service,” Alphin said. “To be good at it, you have to love what you do and your residents have to be your motivation for coming here every day. We have an excellent team here that love our residents and it shows when you come into our community.”
Regional Director Randy Jackson, who oversees the Kinston, Wilmington, Greenville, Wilson, Rocky Mount and Kill Devil Hills Spring Arbors, said he was glad to see the Kinston unit continue to deliver for those in need.
“I’m very proud to be a part of this for almost 10 years,” Jackson said. “It is needed in the community and there are so many people who remain in Kinston with positive experiences here. I’m proud knowing every day there are compassionate team members doing their best for the residents.”
Activity Director Andrew Mozingo said besides actions inside the facility, residents do plenty in the community.
“Some of the things we do include community yard sales, reading to elementary school students, serving sandwiches to the homeless and we’ve got a dog show next month,” Mozingo said. “Sometimes people think when someone’s retired that’s it, but they’re very enthusiastic about giving back and it keeps them excited in life.”
Amanda Haddock, marketing director for Spring Arbor, said she’s witnessed how great the branch has been firsthand.
“My grandmother lived here for about 12 years and the care she received was absolutely phenomenal,” she said. “As a family member, there’s a lot of guilt involved when it comes to moving someone into assistant living, but the staff here takes a lot of pride in service, which helps alleviate that feeling. Most of our residents are very happy here — they’re around their peers and are able to share life experiences. Many of them lived through several major wars and as children and grandchildren, we can’t understand what they’ve seen.
“If we’re blessed enough to live as long, we may get to the point where we can’t manage daily care on our own, so caretakers handle some of the duties like cooking and cleaning so residents are able to live full lives.”
Overall, Kinston-Lenoir County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Laura Lee Sylvester said the facility has been beyond exceptional.
“I’m so excited to have a facility in the community taking care of our residents the way they have,” Sylvester said. “For (Spring Arbor) to be around for 20 years is a testimony to the wonderful job they do here.”