Naomi Sapir has always made volunteering in her community a top priority no matter where she lived, from a beach community in South Carolina to a kibbutz in Israel to her home in Virginia to the gift shop at Scotia Village.
At Scotia Village, she is pleased to volunteer for a number of activities. However, the gift shop is her biggest commitment, helping fund the Resident Association and other off-campus activities that residents enjoy.
The items in the gift shop are either donated by residents or sold on consignment, giving residents a convenient way to get rid of small items they no longer need or have room for. They can even purchase items that they may have forgotten to bring when they moved into Scotia Village.
“I enjoy meeting the people, hearing about their treasures and sharing time with them,” says Naomi, “and just being as helpful as I can.”
For Naomi, taking an active role in her community is simply what she’s always done. When she and her husband, Ari, retired in 2000 to Lake of the Woods, VA, they remained very active as members of the Lions Club and participated in many missions to underserved communities.
“We’re extremely proud and grateful that we were able to be part of that organization,” she adds. “It’s a wonderful feeling when you’re able to help someone.”
After building a home in an over-55 community at the beach in Conway, SC, they helped establish the Carolina Forest Lions Club there. Naomi volunteered in the gift shop at a local hospital and at the nursing home where Ari was receiving care.
When Ari passed away four years ago, she decided to look into continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs).
“I found it frustrating dealing with getting people in to do work and other things in maintaining a house while my husband was in nursing care,” explains Naomi. “It was either move to a condo at the beach or a CCRC.”
Naomi decided to find a CCRC to fit her needs that was closer to her daughter, Fran, who lives near Raleigh. “I literally took a map and drew a circumference of 150 miles around Raleigh,” says Naomi.
After researching a number of communities, Scotia Village quickly stood out for a number of reasons.
One reason goes all the way back to her years in Israel. With its peaceful, beautifully cared for landscape and sense of community, Scotia Village reminded Naomi of the kibbutz (a type of collaborative farm or community) in Israel where she lived and worked in the early 1960s before taking a position with Israeli Industry in Tel Aviv.
This memory is particularly meaningful for Naomi, whose mother went to Israel in 1927 as the sole member of her family to escape the Holocaust.
“I found the surroundings here, the trees the paths the flowers, to be very inviting to me,” she says. “It brought me back a little bit…“
Another appealing quality of Scotia Village was that the community is able to provide quality amenities and natural beauty at a reasonable value, a key attribute that makes a big difference for many of the residents. The relative size of Scotia Village also played a part in its appeal for Naomi, giving the residents a closer sense of community and caring for one another.
Once she decided on Scotia Village, Naomi says the transition wasn’t difficult. “I’m a decisive person. Once I make a decision, I make it happen,” Naomi says. She found it easy to figure out quickly what she wanted to take with her and what to get rid of.
Since moving to Scotia Village in February of 2018, she has found life here to be very pleasant. “It’s been very fulfilling,” says Naomi. “And I’m so very grateful that I’m here, and grateful for the people that I’ve met who have been a part of my life.”