Sabine Oaks Home celebrated the dedication and generosity of Barbara Warren and her husband, Dr. Michael Warren, at the assisted living retirement community’s open house Thursday, May 9. The event, held annually to raise community awareness regarding the home’s services, offered a special reason to celebrate this year. Barbara, who is a member of the House Committee of the Sabine Oaks Board of Directors, and her husband, Michael, a biology professor at Lamar for more than 40 years, helped raise $5,000 for room renovations and beautification of the home.
“I really couldn’t afford to put all of my own money into it, so I sent letters to a hundred of my friends and told them about Sabine Oaks and what we were doing,” she said.
Barbara said that in the letters, she asked her friends to donate $25 each and expected to receive a total of $2,500. She was pleasantly surprised, however, when she received much more than that.
“I got twice that much from my dear, wonderful, generous friends,” she said.
Barbara said she used the money to pay for much needed improvements to the Sabine Oaks Home.
“We just really needed to update these rooms, and we needed new furniture,” she said. Barbara and her husband not only helped to raise money for these efforts, but they also performed the labor themselves.
“We put up the crown molding and baseboards and painted,” she said. “We worked on it for about six weeks. We have two rooms that we put trim in, and we have a third one that we are going to do.”
In addition to remodeling three of the living quarters, Barbara and Mike also planted flowers in front of the home — including roses, azaleas and Mexican petunias — that completely transformed the outside of Sabine Oaks.
Barbara said that most of the plants came from her yard.
“My husband took little cuttings and rooted them,” she said. “We started (working on it) in December of 2011.”
Barbara, who also volunteers at Family Services of Southeast Texas, among other places, said she had originally planned for her mother to move to Sabine Oaks Home and wanted to plant a garden in front of the home because her mother was used to having beautiful flowers and shrubbery at her house.
Barbara said she told Martha Kirkpatrick, the administrator at Sabine Oaks Home, that even after her mother decided not to move into the home, she would still work on the yard.
“I kept telling Martha, ‘I told you I’d do it, so I’m going to do it,’” Barbara said. “The reason we have made a big effort to improve the grounds and update rooms is because it is a very unusual, very small, loving place where people who are no longer able to live alone in their own homes are cared for very well with respect for them as individuals. It is just a large home, not an institution. There isn’t another place like it in Beaumont.”
Sabine Oaks Home is a nonprofit organization founded by Church Women United nearly 70 years ago, which prides itself on individualized loving care of residents, good food and good fellowship, according to Sabine Oaks website. Serving a maximum of 25 residents in a large home with a beautiful garden setting, Sabine Oaks offers around-the-clock assistance seven days a week at minimum charge, fulfilling the mission of its founders.
Kevin King can be reached at (409) 832-1400, ext. 225, or by e-mail at kevin [at] theexaminer [dot] com.