Central Albertans thanked the Golden Circle Senior Resource Centre’s staff and volunteers Friday morning.
Many gathered in the centre’s parking lot to clap, wave and dance to the song That’s What Friends Are For by Dionne Warwick, to pay tribute to those who continue to work through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was emotional for me when I saw everybody,” said Golden Circle executive director Monica Morrison.
“I know people are having a hard time. I know people want to get back into the circle. When that’s going to happen, I don’t know, because we don’t know what the rules are going to be.
“From my perspective, I really do feel the love for the organization and what we mean to the community.”
The event was started by people living in a nearby building who noticed there was still activity within the Golden Circle, said Morrison.
“They wanted an opportunity to pay tribute to the work we’re doing here … and recognize the essential service that we’re providing, and that’s ensuring our outreach services are still available to the community.
“Our kitchen has been pumping out frozen meals like crazy. Some weeks, we do an average of 350 to 400. Some weeks, we do 600,” she said, adding Red Deer and many other central Alberta communities are receiving meals.
It’s been a busy couple of months for the centre, Morrison added.
“Staff are doing wellness checks to make sure that everybody is doing OK. We’ve set up a telephone-friendly visiting program for those who are having a hard time with isolation, so we’re connecting volunteers with the client that needs it, and they set up a (telephone call) once, twice or three times a week, depending on what they need.”
There are about 30 volunteers participating in the telephone program and delivering groceries and frozen meals.
Morrison said she is doing a lot of grant writing as well “to keep the doors open, because we’ve lost our program side. We don’t have any revenue coming in on that side.”
The Golden Circle will apply for two more grants. Morrison said if successful, the centre “will be fine” until Dec. 31.
Morrison will shave her head next Friday to raise money for the Golden Circle. Next week is Seniors Week and the facility will host virtual activities from Monday to Thursday.
So far, more than $7,000 has been raised for the head shaving. To donate, call the Golden Circle at 403-343-6074.