Staff from the Woodruff Community Center visited seniors and shut-ins at their homes on Thursday afternoon to provide fellowship, supplies, Christmas presents, and holiday cheer.
As part of a combination of the Gifts-In-Kind and Giving Tree outreach programs, Cathy Corona, Assistant Director of the Woodruff Community Center, loaded a truck with personal care items, paper goods, Christmas presents, and an uplifting spirit to deliver to senior citizens and senior shut-ins in the Woodruff area.
Gifts-In-Kind is part of a United Way program that is implemented locally by the center. The Woodruff Community Center pays a yearly fee to United Way, along with a per shopping trip fee, to acquire supplies to distribute to those in need. The gifts are from a Walmart return program and donations from the local community.
The objective of the outreach is not only to furnish assistance to senior citizens in the form of supplies and personal care items but also to provide fellowship, friendship, and a line of communication to better understand their struggles, hopes, and needs.
The center visits senior living communities such as Georgia Manor, assisted living facilities like Montrose Manor, neighborhoods like Kelly Acres, as well as individual homes and shut-ins. This year the Element Church Ladies Bible Study group made Christmas ornaments that were included in the packages delivered to seniors by the Woodruff Community Center.
When the program began, participating seniors had to visit the center to receive assistance, but when a need was recognized for in-home visits, the program was adapted to better serve the seniors by visiting them at their residences.
“By visiting the seniors at their homes we have more time to talk with them and fellowship with them,” Corona stated, “in a one-on-one setting we are better able to understand their individual needs.”
The seniors light up when they see Corona arriving. She cares deeply about serving the senior community and it shows in the reactions she receives. The seniors view her as a friend or even family member, and have a sense of trust with her as someone they can rely on.
“I love seniors. The senior community holds a special place in my heart.” – Cathy Corona
Program participant senior William Lightfood stated “They are just like family, they’ve been really great to me.” Lightfoot, who suffers with arthritis and is unable to stand for long periods of time, doesn’t just receive assistance from the center; he faithfully volunteers there also. Lightfoot uses a walker to assist him as he takes care of chores at the center such as sweeping. “I wish I was in a position to make a big donation to the center,” he said, adding “you can’t ask for nobody better than the people at Woodruff Community Center.”
The program is especially important during the holiday season, a time when some seniors might be alone due to a spouse passing away, or if they don’t have family that lives in the area. “It’s even more important during the holidays that we make sure they are OK,” Corona stated, “I would have loved if someone could have done this for my grandmother when I lived out of the area.”
The Senior Giving program is just one more example of the excellent and tireless efforts of the staff and volunteers at the Woodruff Community Center and their goal to support southern Spartanburg county.
If you would like to help the center, you can donate directly on their website or contact them at (864) 476-2256 to volunteer in the center or at the adjacent thrift store.