Alice went around and greeted the Elders with hugs and handshakes.Cameron Senior Center was one of nearly fifty Program Partners in 2016 that received Standard Food shipments from the Southwest Relief Aid (SWRA) program. The director, Alice, typically orders several different services. Our trucks show up to her pink stucco building regularly, so she can support her Elders from the community nestled to the east of the Grand Canyon.
During one lunchtime service this year, Alice received a special shipment of food and personal care items to go home with the Cameron Elders after they ate.
Many of her Elders are picked up and delivered to the senior center to eat their meals with their friends and socialize at the center. Other Elders’ meals are delivered directly to their homes.
It’s not uncommon to enter the center and see many Elders busy with their different crafting projects, blankets, and jewelry.It’s not uncommon to enter the center and see many Elders busy with their different crafts projects, blankets, and jewelry. Items are created and sold help supplement their income. During a recent visit, we noticed that their work area was filled with a different type of activity. The Elders watched as a group of volunteers boxed more than fifteen items tidily into large boxes.
As soon as Alice had the volunteers whipped into tip-top packaging shape, she went around and greeted the Elders with hugs and handshakes. Even though she sees them frequently, it was clear this was the way Alice welcomed her Elders. And because of the special guests — aka volunteers — Alice also called upon some community members to bring their jewelry and crafts to encourage “Buy Indian” practices among the volunteers and the artists themselves.
While all the packaging was being completed, the Elders received their meal.While all the packaging was being completed, the Elders received their meal. Meanwhile, tall piles of boxes began to form inside the small stucco building.
The Elders were pleased that their stomachs were satisfied. They were also excited that they would get to bring some carefully prepared boxes home with them to stock their own cupboards.
This special shipment accomplished more than adding an extra treat. It provided the Elders a little entertainment while they ate, plus gave them an opportunity to sell a few of their crafts. More importantly, they enjoyed additional socialization that is so vital at any age.