A Special Reunion
Social isolation is a serious health risk that affects many of our older adults. Generations, Inc./Innovations Ministries’ “Just For You Program” continues efforts to remedy this issue with monthly deliveries of fresh produce to seniors at three facilities in Lindenwold, New Jersey. Our outreach efforts also include bi-monthly Comfort Calls (robocalls) with words of encouragement, Letters of Love sent from youth, and conference call workshops conducted by area health professionals.
I have been involved with bagging and delivering produce to our seniors for more than a year now. It brings as much joy to me as it does to our seniors. A day or two prior to each month’s produce delivery, I call seniors at Harvest House Apartments to remind them to pick up their produce from the community room. They recognize my voice and get very excited when I call them. They share what has happened in their lives during the past month.
Produce distribution day is like a reunion. When the seniors come to the community room to pick up their produce, they chat about how they enjoyed their last produce delivery, how family members are doing, doctor’s visits, etc. They express their gratitude for the program. Some seniors always ask if we are coming back the next month. Sometimes a senior will squeal with delight when they receive their Letter of Love from the youth. It makes them feel special and loved.
After more than a year, something amazing has happened. Seniors are beginning to pitch in and help each other during distribution day. Some offer to help us with delivering produce to their neighbors who are physically unable to pick up their produce bags. One senior commented, “I love helping. It makes me feel useful.” The Just For You program is working to combat social isolation among our seniors and winning!
Linda Sanders, Innovations Ministries Assistant Director
About the Grantee
Generations, Inc., a community development corporation, provides comprehensive, coordinated services to meet the needs of families and individuals, providing full access to necessary services for all ages. Innovations Ministries, a non-profit entity within Generations, promotes a proactive approach to personal development, lifestyle management and enhance overall well-being and quality of life.