Did you know The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma operates four senior centers in the OKC metro? These senior centers, three of which are based out of HUD properties, operate as meal sites for seniors age 55+ who face unimaginable barriers such as food insecurity. Our meal sites provide a free nutritional lunch to seniors with no eligibility requirements.
“People who come [to the senior center] are exposed to Christian fellowship which is loving and caring. You really feel like you belong. The daily hot meals are great as many of us can no longer cook”, said a participant.
One of the senior centers is currently operating out of the former Sequoyah Elementary School in Oklahoma City. Housed with other agencies, this senior center not only provides a free lunch to seniors but also free activities. These activities are important to our seniors because socialization is crucial to their mental and physical well-being. They desire opportunities to connect with their friends and to be engaged in activities that stimulate their mind, their creativity, and their physical fitness.
Activities at this senior center include a monthly reading and discussion program funded by Oklahoma Humanities; dominoes; chair exercises; paint class; seasonal activities; and history programs.
One of the seniors who frequents this center shared, “I come to the senior center to keep my mind active, to be a good listener and to be a help in any way I can be. I love to be a blessing to others with the talents I have and love to share them. I’ve taught a knitting class [at the senior center]. It is good to still give back and know it makes a difference”.
The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma’s senior programs was recently awarded funding to help seniors age 65+ maintain their independent living status. These funds have helped seniors with bedding and furniture needs that many of us may take for granted. What the community may not realize is many seniors are sleeping on the floor or an office chair in their personal residence. They have not been able to purchase the most basic of needs to help them because finances are limited. This is where The Salvation Army and community partners, such as Oklahoma City Community Foundation, help seniors in their time of need.
One of the seniors, a 69-year old gentleman who resides in HUD housing was provided a bed, bedding, table and chairs, dresser and recliner.
“Receiving the furniture turned an empty apartment into a home. I appreciate all [The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma] has done. It’s hard sleeping and sitting on the floor at my age”.
Another individual assisted is a 76-year old woman who also resides in HUD housing. She was provided a new recliner.
“I broke my hip in the last ice storm. The only thing I had to sit on was an old office chair. But I needed to keep my legs up when I came home from rehab. The recliner has been an answer to prayer. I love it and sit in it every day. Thank you [The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma] for all you do. It has been wonderful as I do not have a couch or anything else to sit on”.
The need is great and yet many may not know this vulnerable population exists right here in our community. Our seniors are in desperate need of assistance or perhaps looking for ways to plug in to a local gathering place to make friends, socialize, learn a new skill, or just enjoy a warm nutritious lunch.
The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma’s Senior Programs meets these vital needs and are thankful to the many partners who have signed on to help.
We are currently seeking funding to ensure no senior goes without….whether it be a free meal, free programming, or meeting basic needs such as a bed or recliner.
Will you be the one to make this happen?
Please consider making a donation today at TSAOK.org or send a donation in to:
The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma
1001 N Pennsylvania Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73107
(be sure to note “Senior Programs” on memo line)
Are you a senior wanting to learn more about the Sequoyah Senior Center? Diane Maguire, our seniors program manager, would be more than happy to visit with you. She can be reached at 405-246-1120 or via email at Diane.Maguire@uss.salvationarmy.org.
Perhaps your donation could be that of time as a volunteer, helping to lead programs and activities for our seniors. If you feel like this is something you would like to learn more about, Diane Maguire can speak to those opportunities as well.
Thank you for joining alongside us in doing the most good here in Central Oklahoma. Our seniors thank you and we thank you!