Winter Growth began providing an Adult Day Program in the home of Marge Burba, its founder, in April of 1979. It was her master’s thesis project. The objective of the demonstration project was to develop a program for older adults that was highly individualized and based on sound human development concepts. The program was designed to promote ego integrity, as defined by Erik Erickson as the eighth stage of human development, normally beginning after 65 years of age. When growth in this stage of life is denied, despair becomes the pervasive experience. Winter Growth would demonstrate that, in the right environment, even with illness and disability, older adults could successfully grow in integrity and overall life satisfaction.
Ms. Burba went on to incorporate Winter Growth as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in May 1979. Substituting strong community volunteer support for a large corporate safety net, Winter Growth was to construct three state of the art buildings and a menu of community based services for older and disabled adults. The founder and a devoted senior staff have built the organization slowly, incorporating quality as each new program was designed or expanded.
Our experience over many years validates our belief that author and philosopher Albert Camus was insightful in recognizing the summer (or potential) in each of us even in the winter season of our lives.