Handmade hope

Homebound seniors will get a handmade holiday card this winter, thanks to the efforts of volunteers at the Ashland Senior Center.

The cards will be delivered along with food to about 35 Ashland seniors served by the Food & Friends Meals on Wheels program.

Ashland resident Marjorie Ross was visiting the senior center recently for lunch and decided to stay for the afternoon to help make cards.

Volunteers and senior center staff members glued decorative paper to cards bearing holiday messages and stamped on the back with the words "Crafted just for you."

Ross said she wanted to help bring a message of caring to homebound seniors who can't come to the center.

"For some of these people, the only people they ever see are the people who deliver meals," she said.

Ross is new to Ashland and said the senior center is a good place to meet people and socialize.

"Every day I'm amazed by the volunteering and the kindness and the concern," she said.

Debbie Koland, who organizes the annual card-making event and provides the materials, said she hopes the cards will help bring a bit of cheer to homebound seniors.

"I know that being the generation that they are, personal, handmade things are meaningful," she said.

Koland said she became involved in card-making by accident.

"Some friends had a Christmas card-making party. I'd never done anything crafty before," she said. "I was hooked."

Dorothy Parsons, a volunteer and information and referral specialist for the center, said the cards are important to shut-ins.

"They enjoy it a lot. Sometimes it's the only card they get," she said.

While making the cards, the volunteers and staff members conversed on topics from current events to whether grandchildren should be allowed to watch the popular but violent movie "Hunger Games."

Volunteer Penny Roy, who stayed to make cards with husband Donald Roy, said they enjoy helping out. The couple recently moved to Ashland.

Penny Roy said she had fun making the cards.

"Do you do Easter cards and Halloween cards?" she joked to her fellow card-makers.

Senior Center Program Director Christine Dodson said seniors are encouraged to come to the center to enjoy lunch, socialize and take part in a range of activities — including yoga, dancing, computer classes and movies.

However, some seniors can't come because of physical limitations, medical issues or transportation problems, she said.

Volunteers with Meals on Wheels — which is run by the Rogue Valley Council of Governments in Jackson and Josephine counties — drop off prepared meals, chat with seniors and check on their well-being.

Seniors must meet certain criteria for the Meals on Wheels program, including that they be 60 years old or older, or be the spouse of someone of that age, be homebound because of illness, injury or disability for at least two weeks, or unable because of health reasons to make their own meals.

For more information on Meals on Wheels or to request the service, call 541-734-9505 in Jackson County or 541-955-8839 in Josephine County.

Meals on Wheels information is also available at http://rvcog.org/MN.asp?pg=FF_Home.

For more information about Ashland Senior Center programs and activities, call 541-488-5342, use the TYY number 800-735-2900 for the hearing impaired or visit ashlandseniorcenter.org.

The center is located at 1699 Homes Ave., next to Hunter Park.

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or vlaldous@yahoo.com.

Share This Story