McKinleyville Senior Center: Chromebooks are on board

Good Wednesday! Here is an update on the McKinleyville Senior Center…. I would have liked to have had firm dates for our reopening, but I don’t have any.

I have news to share with the community. We achieved the first goal of computer literacy for seniors with the purchase of Chromebooks for the center.

This was made possible thanks to the donations made to our little green pots on the city, the donations of the friends of the center and the creative purchases of René Quintana, our executive director. Whenever possible, he shopped locally for our furniture, glass and plastic desk, and table tops. Thank you to all of you who have been so generous and appreciated our limited budget.

New COVID-19 compliant furniture is in place, as are security gates, cleaning, and lots of creative new ideas.

At our last board meeting with the new director of the CMDD and the head of the recreation division, it was unanimously decided to require vaccinations to enter the center when it reopens.

This is not a political decision, but rather a security issue raised by the elders of the community and the entire board of directors present. There was a huge sigh of relief that security was the number one issue when reopening.

We have a few issues to resolve before an official opening. We are asking the senior community for ideas on what courses to offer given our new limits.

Please offer your suggestions and new ideas. Hours will be a little different due to the county’s continued health restrictions: smaller classrooms, regular cleaning, front desk volunteers, and things we haven’t even thought about yet. The biggest changes are likely to happen in our exercise programs because they are so popular and well followed. The biggest change will be the size limits for classes and scheduling. Some classes may only be able to meet once a week instead of two to accommodate anyone who wishes to participate.

Here are a few things that surprised me this week. I went to Eureka Natural Foods for lunch and picked up our jars when I left. A masked woman approached me (also masked) and asked if I was Patti Stammer.

I said yes and she asked if I could come to her house and get some bags of coins that she wanted to donate. People read my somewhat erratic column in the Mad River Union! What surprised me was how she recognized me from the stupid photo of the “summer hat” in the paper to the real me with crazy hair and a mask. Thank you Teri, you made my day!

We also received donations from friends of Carol Davis, our beloved girlfriend who passed away this summer. Thank you to everyone who participated in her amazing “donation” garage sale which raised funds for Hospice, Food for People and MSC. As many of our elders pass more and more regularly, I wonder what we can do to recognize and honor them. Ideas?

We hope to start with a community open house to show off the changes and thank everyone for the continued support during this “unusual” time. Time seems to pass quickly as we start to move again. As soon as we can formulate a plan for everyone to safely “mingle”, we will announce it everywhere. We are ready to meet again soon!

Thank you Jack, Kevin and Ted for keeping us read, active and up to date. Hope you realize how important you are to our communities … just ignore all those mean, cranky, disgusting people. We love you and all you do to make it clear that elders are vital, fun and interesting members of any community that hopes to survive. Plus, we have the best stories.

Still collecting coins so give me a call and vibrate my chest and help us connect. Call me at (707) 845-2817 or call the McKinleyville Senior Center at (707) 839-0191 We have a new phone and a book that tells us how to reply to messages!

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