Bartels Lutheran Retirement Community, Waverly, has been a trusted partner of the Waverly community for 69 years and prides itself in carrying out our mission, “Enriching lives through quality services and Christian care,” not only on our campus, but also within the community.

Bartels was created from an estate gift to one of the local churches for a home for senior citizens. The local church in turn created a separate entity to bring this vision to life. A group of corporate churches has been a part of Bartels history, providing guidance, approving board members and participating in the annual meeting. Bartels still honors and recognizes these corporate churches today, which have laid the groundwork for the community trust in Bartels.

Today, Bartels continues to be a strong community partner. The board of directors and team leaders reinforced the importance of this social responsibility by making community involvement one of our key strategic goals.

Our efforts to provide more community service to the public has been focused on the expansion and growth of Bartels-at-Home and partnering with other organizations; open and transparent communication with the public; an active member in community organizations and speaker at events; volunteering by leaders and staff at community events; partnering and hiring individuals with disabilities; and fundraising by staff for local organizations.

Bartels-at-Home has seen exponential growth in serving the community. Bartels is taking an individualized approach to make sure to provide top-quality care and working with other organizations, like hospice, when needed to keep individuals in their home longer. Bartels-at-Home goes above and beyond to build relationships and assist the client and families.

Throughout the pandemic, Bartels became a trusted source of Covid-19 information through our open and transparent communication. CEO Paula Geise sent out weekly memos every Friday with updates through a digital newsletter to the public and families and it was posted on our website. Paula also spoke at many organizations in regard to Covid and presented to other local business owners on the topic of Covid vaccines and options for employees.

This willingness to be open and honest with the public about the good and the bad, reinforced the public trust.

Bartels is also very committed to serving on various organizations and participating in community events. We are currently very active with the Waverly Chamber by sponsoring and volunteering at community events. CEO Paula Geise is a local Rotary member and serves on the Waverly Economic Development Board. She has also presented several times to other organizations like the Lions Club and Waverly Exchange Club.

Bartels partners with local non-profits, The Larrabee Center and Inclusion Connection, to provide jobs to those with a variety of learning disabilities. Our staff takes the extra time to work with, train and support these individuals in their roles.

Furniture no longer needed by Bartels has been donated to Habitat for Humanity.

Because giving back and community service has become an integral part of our work-place culture, the entire staff has participated in numerous volunteer and fundraising projects to benefit the community.

Staff have stepped up to volunteer to deliver Meals on Wheels to the elderly in our community, as well as donating food for the food bank and hats and mittens for United Way to distribute to local children in need. The fun squad organized a color walk and many staff participated in order to donate the proceeds to Retrieving Freedom, a local non-profit that trains dogs for veterans with PTSD.

Finding staff willing to volunteer at Waverly Chamber events is always an easy task, as they are eager to serve popcorn and lemonade at Concert in Kohlmann Park, serve hot cocoa at Christmas on Main or help out or ride in the Heritage Days parade.

All of us at Bartels appreciate the generosity and the support the community has given to us over the years, and we are proud and excited when we can give back to the Waverly community.

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