MonteVerde Apartments celebrated volunteer heroes during Volunteer Month. Rear left to right: Willie Warren, Willie Roberts, Louis Woolridge, Nathaniel “Pic” Jones, and Willie Hanna. Front left to right: Gregory Pendleton and Annette “Peanut” Abrams. Not pictured: Calvin Warren.
Pre-pandemic, Friday afternoons at MonteVerde Apartments meant Club Mount – a lively community gathering with DJ Willie Warren spinning tunes and Annette “Peanut” Abrams sharing home-made dishes. Residents and staff alike looked forward to the weekly celebrations – singing, dancing, and catching up on grandchildren, family, and mutual Baltimore experiences. Other regular social events included Sunday football, Bingo, exercise classes, and art workshops.
Once the pandemic hit, all activities came to an abrupt halt. The reduced social interaction and isolation were particularly tough for the MonteVerde community, which provides 301 affordable apartments for seniors in Baltimore’s Park Heights neighborhood.
Enter a group of volunteer heroes. As everything shut down, a committed group of residents jumped into action to help support residents and ensure an ongoing sense of community. They delivered meals to residents’ doors, helped with monthly food distributions, checked on frail and elderly neighbors, assisted with vaccine clinics, and basically pitched in whenever anything was needed. Many were already long-time volunteers at the property and boosted their efforts as needs grew during the pandemic.
In April, during Volunteer Appreciation Month, MonteVerde’s Resident Services staff celebrated these heroes – eight resolute residents whose long-time volunteer efforts have made a significant difference to the community. None show any signs of slowing down their volunteerism – even as the pandemic seems to be ebbing. “This is my home and I like staying busy,” says “Peanut” Abrams.
“We truly appreciate these wonderful volunteers,” said Latrice Goode, Senior Resident Services Manager. “They continue to help residents in so many ways and really foster a sense of family here at MonteVerde.”
MonteVerde’s volunteer heroes include:
- Annette “Peanut” Abrams has lived at MonteVerde for eight years. She volunteers in multiple ways, including regularly picking up trash around the building. A proud great grandmother of eight, she also enjoys sewing and spending time with family.
- Willie Hanna has lived at MonteVerde for six years and has become the face of the Art with a Heart (AWAH) program. A self-taught artist, Mr. Hanna works closely with AWAH volunteers. His artwork (along with other residents’) artwork is featured in the community room – another way of bringing neighbors together.
- Nathanial “Pic” Jones has lived at MonteVerde for eight years, and has volunteered from the day he moved in. Mr. Jones volunteers in lots of ways, including helping with food distributions, vaccine clinics, resident events, and onsite community programs.
- Gregory Pendleton has lived in the community for 12 years and has volunteered for at least nine years. He volunteers for everything — from grill duty at residents’ cookouts to food and bread distributions during the height of COVID-19.
- Willie Roberts, another long, another long-time resident, has volunteered for eight years, including delivering food to residents’ doors, and helping with food distribution and vaccine clinics. He also cleans up the front grounds on the weekends.
- Calvin Warren is a 19-year resident, and has been an active volunteer for at least 11 years. He has been on the front line delivering meals, assisting with vaccine clinics, and helping the Resident Services team whenever they needed an extra pair of hands. He also helps deliver food to shut-in residents.
- Willie Warren has lived at MonteVerde for 12 years, and has been a consistent volunteer since he moved in. He is the DJ for all resident events – and happily responds to all requests. He also regularly volunteers his time delivering food to frail and elderly residents.
- Louis Woolridge has lived at MonteVerde for 17 years and has been a committed volunteer for at least 11 years. He helps neighbors in myriad ways, from delivering food to helping with household chores when needed.
About MonteVerde Apartments
Located in Baltimore City’s Lower Park Heights neighborhood, MonteVerde is a 301-unit community offering affordable housing for seniors and non-elderly disabled residents in two 13-story buildings. AHC Inc., a nonprofit affordable housing developer, acquired the property in 2008 and completed an extensive renovation of the property in 2010 that provided a single entrance to the two buildings, updated kitchens and baths, new windows and heating and cooling systems, and additional communal gathering spaces for residents. AHC’s Resident Services program provides extensive onsite education and social services for residents.
About AHC Inc.
Founded in 1975, AHC Inc. is a nonprofit developer of affordable housing that provides quality homes and education programs for low-and moderate-income families. Based in Arlington, VA, AHC has developed more than 7,800 apartments in 50+ properties in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. AHC’s Resident Services program reaches 3,000 children, teens, and adults and seniors each year through onsite education and social service programs and activities. Visit the AHC website for more information.