Driving Together: Your gift paved a new way forward for Dennis & Dawn White

Your gift, yes YOUR gift, to PVM did another really good thing! 


Because you gave, Dennis & Dawn White can stay living together at The Village of Holly Woodlands. Dealing with the progression of Dennis’ dementia forced Dawn to the brink of exhaustion. 


Dawn needed your help to purchase a much needed mobility scooter as Dennis’ health was starting to fail. “Dennis was trapped in our small apartment. He did not have the strength to get around the campus. He really needs to participate in activities to keep him mobile and his mind sharp,” said Dawn.


Thanks to your donation Dennis has a scooter. He is staying active and engaged even in the face of his progressing memory loss. However, the White’s story is about so much more than the scooter. The White’s are an exceptional couple with an exceptional story of giving back even in the face of dementia. Enjoy their story on the next page and be proud of how you helped to pave a new direction forward for them.


The Whites are faithful servants of God. So it makes sense they were Youth Pastors together in a Port Huron, MI church. “He played the piano and I sang”, said Dawn. 


They went on to start their own church and subsidized it by running a small accounting business. For 23 years they balanced both the running of the church and their business. “It was a labor of love. Basically all the money went to help the church or its members,” Dawn states.


As time moved on, Dawn noticed that Dennis was slipping. “His accounting, normally flawless, had mistakes; his focus was not there. I knew then our life had to change,” says Dawn with a tear in her eye. 


They closed the business and regretfully the church too. “It was a tough time, not having much savings and living off of $2,000/month in Social Security. We needed to find a new place to live that could fit our new financial reality. The good news is we found The Village of Holly Woodlands! I loved it here from the moment we arrived,” Dawn proudly proclaims.


From day one at their new home, the Whites did so much. They formed a resident chorus, and helped with Sunday church service. Both actively participated in PVM’s Senior Olympic type games called the Village Victory Cup (an event supported by your donations). They even won medals! 


During that same time Dawn was asked to take over the distribution of Meals on Wheels for all of Northern Oakland County. 5 days a week 200 meals/day would be delivered to Holly Woodlands. This provided hot meals for residents as well as for delivery throughout parts of the northern county. “Each morning sorting and packing the meals for delivery was a production! I even recruited 15 fellow residents to help.” states Dawn.


Dawn’s schedule was always packed. The problem was Dennis needed her, his dementia was getting worse and his short term memory was all but gone. Dawn reflects on one day that changed her life. “One of the drivers mentioned he saw Dennis down the road by himself. I dropped everything and jumped in my car, my heart was racing. Luckily I found Dennis at the local Rite Aid buying shampoo, which we didn’t need. He didn’t know how he got there. I resigned from my post at Meals on Wheels shortly after.”


With a much slower schedule and Dennis’ mobility really decreased, life was spent primarily in their apartment. “If Dennis only had a scooter he could leave the apartment. Living on $2,000/month does not afford many extras and we couldn’t afford a scooter,” says Dawn.


With your donation, Dennis received his scooter. “Freedom! We have a social life again. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to the donors. Our life is so much better,” Dawn says with a smile from ear to ear. 


True to the Whites’ giving spirit, when a friend recently passed and left them a modest amount of money, they donated it to the PVM Foundation. “Use this donation to support other residents that need help, just like us. Pay it forward!” Dawn proclaims.


The Whites have always given to those in need. When the Whites needed help as dementia crashed into their life you were there for them. 


Thank you for changing lives for the better one kind donation at time!



Update: Dennis’ dementia has progressed, and sadly, Dawn has placed him in a memory care community. Luckily, Dennis is close enough that Dawn can visit him often.

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