Submitted by Meg Dickens
When the average person thinks about a senior center, the first thoughts that come to mind probably revolve around trips and activities. The Johnson County Senior Center is excited to offer a variety of classes and programs for seniors but provides more than just that. Those outside the center often also benefit from what happens behind the facility’s doors.
One of the most obvious examples revolves around community outreach projects. The Quilting Bees and Chicks with Sticks groups have been creating objects to help people in the community. These include blankets to help keep the homeless population warm and hats and scarves for young children within the Johnson County School System. These items are free of charge and usually made from materials donated by the community.
The center sets aside a day each month to honor local veterans. The Veterans’ Cafe reminds the brave men and women who live locally that they remain in the thoughts and prayers of those around them while giving them a place to interact with each other around a nice snack or meal. The center also collaborates with local veteran associations to choose a Veteran of the Month to honor specifically at each meeting.
The center has been using resources provided by the Arts Build Communities Grant to open up activities to anyone in the community regardless of age. Previous classes have included but are not limited to acting, creative writing, music, crafting, and now basket weaving. Next month’s class will be dancing and is just in time to prepare seniors and senior citizens for their upcoming proms. Keep an eye out for more information on this and other upcoming classes in the center’s newsletter and The Tomahawk’s community announcements.
The center offers various events each month and uses these to both entertain and educate those who visit the center. For example, the Mardi Gras celebration was on March 1. The center passed out beads, held a small parade through the facility, and shared facts about the event’s origins and statistics. This can also help engage seniors in other cultures.
The Johnson County Senior Center prides itself on offering socialization, support, and independence to seniors. Membership is free, and the center has transportation options available, so any senior who wants to participate can do so. By removing paywalls and providing transportation, the center makes its programs and activities more widely available to people of all socioeconomic backgrounds. The Johnson County Senior Center is a nonprofit organization serving seniors age 60 and above. For more information on programs, activities, and trips, visit johnsoncountyseniorcenter.com, view the monthly newsletter, or view updates on Facebook @johnsoncountyseniorcenter.