New Seniors Program Begins at Salvation Army

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By Judie Holcomb-Pack

When Kelsey Stellato joined the Salvation Army’s New Walkertown Road location as Senior Program Director, one of the first needs she saw was a way to bring seniors together. She knew that research showed that keeping seniors active and socially involved helped them to stay healthier and live longer.

Rather than creating a program and then asking seniors to join, she invited seniors to come to a community forum to find out what they wanted in a seniors program. On March 29, seniors arrived at the Salvation Army ready to give their opinions. The Salvation Army location on New Walkertown Road focuses on the 13 Place Matters neighborhoods surrounding their center and Kelly’s goal was to “create a sense of community” for local residents.

One obstacle to seniors participating in neighborhood activities is the lack of transportation, as many seniors no longer drive or have health problems limiting their mobility. Kelly didn’t want lack of transportation to prevent seniors from participating, so she arranged for buses to go into neighborhoods to pick up seniors and bring them to the center. One participant remarked that with public transportation, she often rides two to three buses a day to get where she needs to go!

Along with bringing in experts to teach classes, Kelly also asked those in attendance about the skills and talents they had that they could share with others. Canning vegetables? Crocheting? Knitting? Gardening? She discovered a wealth of experience and talent was available among the neighborhood residents.

In partnership with Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods, Kelly would also like to empower the residents to become advocates for their communities. Attendees didn’t hesitate to do that, with an animated discussion about a vacant lot that had become not only an eyesore, but a health concern. Kelly noted the problem and said she would immediately relay this concern to the appropriate city department.

Kelly plans to create an advisory committee to offer guidance for the senior program. She feels the success of this program will “help the community to become stronger.” As the flyer sent out inviting seniors to come to the community forum stated, “You decide what best serves your needs. We make it happen.” 

And make it happen, they did! They have already planned many fun events for seniors during the month of May. Most events are at (or leave from) the center, but Kelly will also be teaching an exercise (primarily chair yoga) at LaDeara Crest on Mondays. Transportation will be available for many of these.

If you live in the New Walkertown area, come out and join your neighbors and have some fun! For more information, call Kelly at 336-245-2076 or email Kelly.Stellato@nulluss.salvationarmy.org.

Date Event Time
May 1 Exercise at LaDeara Crest 11 a.m.
May 2 Falls Prevention (TCA) 10 a.m.
May 4 Shopping Trip: ALDI 10 a.m.
May 6 Health Fair 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
May 8 Exercise at LaDeara Crest 11 a.m.
May 9 Falls Prevention (TCA) 10 a.m.
May 10 Game Day 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
May 15 Exercise at LaDeara Crest 11 a.m.
May 16 Falls Prevention (TCA) 10 a.m.
May 17 Day Trip: Chocolate Factory 1 p.m.
May 18 Lunch & Learn: MHA 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
May 22 Exercise at LaDeara Crest 11 a.m.
May 23 Falls Prevention (TCA) 10 a.m.
May 23 Crafts: Upcycled Birdfeeders 1 p.m.
May 30 Falls Prevention (TCA) 10 a.m.

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