Friday, January 24, 2014

St. Paul's Episcopal Senior Center - Grand Opening

St. Paul’s Senior Center GRAND OPENING!

On Monday, Jan 20th from 11-2, the St. Paul’s Senior Center’s held its grand opening drop-in. Each year, many observe MLK Day as a day to give back to the community and a day to volunteer or do some kind of service. For us at St. Paul's, this seemed like a perfect day to open a senior center (the Homecoming Center transformed into senior center) and provide ongoing resources to senior citizens in the Gentilly area of New Orleans!
The center is located at 1509 Filmore Avenue in Gentilly.
It has been set up to accommodate lunches, games, computer work, crafts, and other activities:
Folks were so excited that they arrived early! Cathey Randolph, Natalie James, Connie Uddo and I finished preparing a delicious lunch Caesar salad, red beans & rice, French bread, and king cake and then everyone had a terrific hot meal!
Everyone that came also got a cool t-shirt!
Each person was given a schedule of Senior Center events for the month and we all had a good discussion of activities they would like to see and ideas for art projects, games or crafting. I was so happy to have a chance to hang out with them. I see them once a month for Bingo and while it is a social time, it’s not the best for really sitting with individuals and chatting. As Bingo players, they can be INTENSELY competitive so it was great to spend time with them in a different setting! Monday, I got to see pictures of people’s grandchildren, laugh, hear how they were really doing, and relax with a chance to get to know them better!  
Volunteering is something that I have tried to make time for throughout my life. Sure, I’m busy….. we all are, but it is SO rewarding and if you can carve out an hour a month, you can make a difference in someone’s life - including your own!
I challenge you all to volunteer somewhere during 2014!
I was impressed at how many St. Paul’s members and neighborhood friends came by the center to say hello and explore the offerings! I will be there on many Thursday mornings – helping with crafts or computer projects. I might even hold some hymn sings and/or some spiritual time with psalms or prayers if there is a need or desire for that. I'm currently trying to decide if I want to follow the path to chaplaincy or a host of other possible ideas. I will be writing a bit about that journey in some other posts.

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