When Bert Christensen lost his home and all his possessions in a fire, he felt as though he had literally “lost everything.” Now, nearly one year later, he has a new residence, new friends and a renewed purpose — thanks to his children, who found him a new home in Sagewood at Daybreak.
Once he settled into the Sagewood community, Bert didn’t spend too much time feeling sorry for himself. Instead, he jumped right in and started looking for ways to be of service to others.
He found his place among a select few who serve as ambassadors at Sagewood. As an ambassador, Bert serves the community in two primary ways: by welcoming new residents and by paying visits to anyone who might need some company to brighten their day.
For Bert, serving others is a natural fit. The army veteran served both his country, and his fellow servicemen, from 1954-1956. He said the men he served with would naturally seek him out whenever they had a problem, and he would try to help them solve it.
“I tried to teach the guys, and treat them like they were somebody,” says Bert. “A lot of times the fellas get in the army and they think they’re the bottom of the barrel, but that isn’t so. There’s a lot of psychological aspects in helping get them through.”
Today, Bert makes it a point to help new residents feel at home, but not just by greeting them once and moving on. He continues to make them feel welcome by inviting them to join him for meals and conversation. His goal is to give others the one thing he wanted when he arrived at Sagewood — friendship.
“I have a lot of good friends here,” Bert says. “In fact, all of them are good friends.”
Bert says he considers Wade Vest, the executive director at Sagewood, to be one of those friends. According to Wade, Bert has developed many good friendships because he cares so much about other people.
About Bert’s time in the service: Wade says everyone at Sagewood appreciates the sacrifice made by Bert and the other veterans who have served our country.
“We have a Wall of Honor for our veterans,” Wade said. “It’s a highlight of our community.”
The photos on the wall are all people who live at Sagewood, or their spouses, who may have passed on. In addition to the Wall of Honor, the community has two annual events to honor those who have served — one on Memorial Day and one on Veterans Day.
Bert says he’s grateful to be at Sagewood.
“You don’t find a better bunch of people,” says Bert. “They seem to know when we need them the most.”
Sagewood at Daybreak is hosting an Open House on Saturday, May 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tour the property for yourself and meet some of the residents, like Bert. For more information, visit www.lifeatsagewood.com or call (801) 515-4663.