Howe Senior Citizens Have A New Home

Issac Townsend, reporter

The Senior citizens have a weekly meeting at The Warehouse every Tuesday. They are served lunch, and occasionally, they have a local musician play at the meetings. Senior citizens from neighboring towns are also welcome to attend the meetings.

By Issac Townsend

CLE Live: How does The Warehouse benefit the Seniors ?

Vickie Jirash: It gives our seniors a day of fellowship, with others their age, as well as a low cost hot meal, and free food donated, such as vegetables and fruits.

CL: When did the Seniors move to The Warehouse ?

VJ: About a year ago.

CL: Why did the Seniors need a new location ?

VJ: The former location was on a hill at the ballpark. It was very dangerous for them to walk up and down the hill. The building was old and crumbly. It had mildew, weeds growing in the cracks, and very poor sound. It was difficult to heat and cool. The kitchen was in need of repairs and often overrun by rodents. The old building had served its purpose but was time to find a better meeting place for our citizens.

CL: How long have the Seniors been meeting ?

VJ: Since the seventies.

CL: When do you have your meetings ? Who can attend ?

VJ: Every Tuesday. We meet around 11:00 a.m. and food is served at noon. All senior citizens may attend. We have many from surrounding towns that come to Howe. No one is turned away, despite their age. Often times, people will bring their children and grandchildren.

CL: What is the format of the meeting ? What do the participants do at the meetings ?

VJ: Home Health workers arrive early to check blood pressure readings for those needing it. Flu shots are given each year. They are offered screenings on their feet, especially diabetics. Pedicures have been given also. These are offered free to our senior citizens. Next is BINGO for about an hour. They have prizes and it is such fun for them. At 12:00 noon, President Curtis James gives the welcome, announcements, recognize birthdays and anniversaries. A volunteer will give the blessings and food is served. Occasionally, they will have guest musicians during their meal.

CL: How long do the meetings typically last?

VJ: The meetings are usually from 10:00 to 1:00. Some participants come early to play dominoes, or choose from the table of free food.  The meal has a suggested price of three dollars, or what each one can afford. Again, no one is denied a meal because of the inability to pay.

CL: What are the long term plans for the location of the Senior Citizen meetings?

VJ: To continue the program for as long as possible. We see the benefits to our seniors. They look forward to Tuesdays’ and have developed long term friendships with other seniors. The health benefits alone are so important for them.

CL: Other than meeting, is there anything else you do when you get together?

VJ: In the past, we have had fundraisers to help the center financially. In conjunction with the Howe Alumni Association, we had a meal served to those coming into town for the weekend festivities. They sell quilts to raise money and have rummage sales.

CL: How do you get to The Warehouse? Is there a transport vehicle for the seniors that cannot drive ?

VJ: They drive their own vehicle or ride with someone. There is not a transport vehicle available.

CL:  Would you like to see additional partnerships between the school and the Seniors in the future? If so,what ideas do you have?

VJ: Absolutely! We could use students to help serve the citizens their meal. Many can’t walk or stand in line to carry their plate. We could use Bingo callers. Many have sacks of food they have to get to their cars, and would need assistance with that.

We would love to have students sing, play or do any talent they may have in which to share with our seniors.