We miss our guests. We miss our seniors. We also miss our intergenerational programs with students from Mason County Central Schools, of which our senior center is a part. Likewise, we miss our program for grandparents raising grandchildren and other kinship caregivers providing a loving family for young relatives.
One of our favorite activities of the year is always that December day when all the third graders from MCC and their teachers walk to the center to bring our seniors beautiful hand-made cards and thoughtful gifts.
As with everything else in 2020, this year was different. Due to COVID, our young friends were not able to visit us in person. Yet that did not stop their generous holiday spirit. As you can see from the photo, the children made us dozens and dozens of wonderful holiday cards, with lovely words and drawings that brought tears to our eyes.
But their kindness did not end there. Since our center was closed for most of the year, we still had most of the coffee, sugar, creamer and other thoughtful gifts given to our seniors in December, 2019. Knowing that providing more gifts was not practical, the kids and their parents and teachers decided to have a coin drive, so the center could use a monetary gift to purchase needed items for our seniors.
You could have blown us over with a feather when teacher Vicki Dahringer, representing her fellow teachers Ms. Stibitz and Mrs. Chalko and the third grade classes, presented us with a check for nearly $350. Never would we have imagined such a spectacular result of a coin drive. It was amazing. It warmed our hearts and brought tears to our eyes.
The SASC staff distributed cards from the kids to some of our seniors. And thanks to our seniors and staff, we were able to respond with a thank you note to every one of those wonderful kids.
Another project we have with MCC is “The Alliance Project,” with high school students from Spartan Academy combining with seniors for projects, games and friendship. Last year, teams of students and seniors built four beautiful new planters for outside the senior center.
Sadly, COVID intervened before the teams could fill their planters with flowers and other plants. One, charmingly, was to be a “pizza garden,” with green peppers, tomatoes, onions and other typical toppings. For now, the planters remain empty inside SASC—awaiting resumption of the program…and spring.
Third graders to the rescue! The money donated by the third graders will be used to support those programs that involve students from MCC…including plants for the planters.
As soon as we’re able to do so, the money from the coin drive will help The Alliance Project fill the planters with flowers and other growing things. And we have invited the third graders to come to the center with their teachers to see the planters they sponsored bloom and grow.
We think 2021 will be a very good year! And next December we’ll plan to have gifts for the new group of third grade kids, when they resume their annual visit and bring holiday cheer to a center full of seniors.