By Nancy Price
Local senior centers are slowly reopening their doors to resume some events and services they haven’t held since March.
“We have continued our medical transportation program where we take Perry Township seniors to and from medical appointments free of charge,” said Melissa Johnson, executive director for Perry Senior Services. In addition, “we have added a small food pantry and are looking to serve any senior in Perry Township who has food insufficiency.”
Last month, The Social of Greenwood resumed its food pantry services on Tuesdays and Thursdays via drive-through.
Nonperishable items, including macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and canned goods are packaged in boxes and delivered inside a recipient’s car trunk. “We are so lucky to have a large group of volunteers,” said Andrea Sutherland, executive director for The Social of Greenwood. “Folks are tired of being home and enjoy any opportunity to serve their community. “They love the interaction. Just having that interaction, I think, helps both parties.”
The Social will also restart Rock Steady Boxing classes on Oct. 26, with a few updated changes. “We have had to reduce the amount of classes,” Sutherland explained. There will be one class a day so rooms can be adequately disinfected before beginning the next class.”
Perry Senior Services is adding fitness classes starting Oct. 15. As well, bingo and lunch will be held Oct. 21 at 11 a.m. and continue monthly. “We are looking into a euchre club, nutrition classes and craft classes – to get any of that started we just need willing participants,” Johnson said.
Sutherland and Johnson request that guests participating in any type of event RSVP in advance, wear masks and maintain at least 6 feet distance from one another.
Sutherland said the staff is hoping to start back with regular programming in the spring of 2021. “Right now we’re heavily relying on donations just to keep everything running,” she said. “Being a nonprofit in this environment is difficult.”
“Our needs are so great!” added Johnson. “Money is always a need as we don’t ask our medical transportation clients to pay. Volunteers are desperately needed as all of our drivers are volunteers and senior citizens themselves. On Facebook we are selling handmade face masks.”
For more information on The Social and the services it provides, please call (317) 882-4810 or go to thesocialofgreenwood.org. For Perry Senior Citizens Services, call (317) 783-9231 or go to perryseniors.org.