The Merion Feeds Passion to Help Others and Introduces New Program

Can by can and box by box, hundreds of pounds of nonperishable food recently stacked up at The Merion to start the 2017 holiday season. Residents and staff at the Evanston senior living community got into the holiday spirit by giving back to a nearby food pantry.


Nani Boyce, a resident at The Merion, helped spearhead the food drive to benefit the Hillside Food Pantry. The not-for-profit organization helps serve 3,000 people within the Evanston community every week. Boyce sees the need firsthand while volunteering two or three days a week at the pantry.


“At The Merion, we have the luxury of enjoying wonderful food and dining,” said Boyce. “Not everyone is as fortunate, and it’s heartwarming to see how many people at The Merion stepped up to help those in need in the greater Evanston community.”


Over the course of a week, The Merion collected and delivered more than 150 pounds of nonperishable food.


“We greatly appreciate the effort that went into this food drive and we want to thank Nani and everyone involved at The Merion,” said Faith Albano, donations coordinator at the Hillside Food Pantry.


The recent food drive also kicked off the new MerionCares program. A big part of the culture for residents is getting involved in the Evanston area, as well as staying active physically and intellectually. MerionCares program is designed to build upon resident engagement, focusing on three key wellness elements: Mind, Body and Community Spirit.


The focus of programming for MerionCares includes:

  • Mind – educational opportunities, classes and social opportunities
  • Body – health-related programming, physical fitness and wellness
  • Community Spirit – different ways to get involved and give back in Evanston


“One of the main reasons people move here is the freedom to get more involved in things they care about and not be bogged down with taking care of a house or other mundane tasks,” explained Mark Zullo, director of marketing at The Merion. “This new program is a way to provide greater opportunities for residents to get involved in activities that are meaningful to them and help them live an enjoyable lifestyle.”


For Boyce, the three elements of MerionCares are dear to her heart. Not only does she exemplify community spirit in working with the Hillside Food Pantry, but she’s also dedicated to the body and physical wellness. She likes to run to stay fit and participates in 5K races around Chicagoland up to 10 times a year.


“We hope MerionCares provides residents the opportunity to advance engagement in areas that are important to them, no matter what level they’re currently at,” added Zullo. “We’re dedicated to enhancing the lifestyle of older adults and doing our part to help make the city of Evanston an even better place to live.”


Go here to see current activities offered at The Merion, and stay tuned for what MerionCares adds to the calendar!