Senior Centers around the country are considering how they can best serve baby boomers. Knowing that many people don’t like the term “senior”, places have considered changing their names to Active Adult Centers, Boomer Centers, Life Centers, Activity Centers, Lifelong Learning Centers and Communities Centers. None of these have caught fire.
Still, no matter what we call ourselves, we know that we need to be open to new ideas and ways of doing business. We do a lot of things well at Volunteers of America – Minnesota’s Southwest Senior Center, but we believe that we can provide even more opportunities to people in the community. So, if you have a great idea for a program that you’d like to lead or need a space for a club that you’ve always wanted to start, here is your chance.
Steve Rukavina approached the Center a couple of years ago about his interest in Tai Chi, and now he is the leader of our Tai Chi club, which meets on Wednesday mornings at the Center. “Conversations with Cora and Laverne” came about because Cora Crow wanted a place to use her training in conversation circles. Thanks to her initiative, a lively group gathers on Monday mornings to talk about a wide variety of topics that they chose the week before. Carol Mae Olson spent an afternoon sharing her pictures of her trip to Cuba.
The Center is open to people creating and leading groups on a regular basis, or just sharing an interest during a one hour program. Do you need space for a book club, yoga club, card group? Talk to me. Our new dining room floor is a wood look vinyl that is great for dancing. Want to put together a dance group or host a dance? Let me know. Interested in starting a quilting or jewelry group? Let’s see if we can work out a time. Always wanted to host a great conversations group and offer a meal? Give me a call. Want to share your knowledge about Excel spreadsheets or putting together photo books? We have seven computers in our computer lab, help put them to use. We do a lot of intergenerational work, but if you have an idea for something new we can do, let me know.
There’s already a lot going on at the Center, but we want to be even more responsive to the community. When people visit the Center, the first thing they often say is that it’s bigger than they thought. We have a large dining room with a vinyl floor, a library/meeting room, a computer lab, a big room for our adult day program, a coffee lounge, and an exercise room downstairs. Our current offerings include nine exercise classes a week, computer classes, an adult day program, social work services, congregate dining, tax preparation, nutrition classes, educational and cultural programs, and a community garden.
Like AARP, we serve people age 50 and up. If you have an idea, please get in touch with me. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-822-3194. Southwest Senior Center is located at 3612 Bryant Avenue South. To check out our daily offerings, you can call the Center for a calendar or go to www.voamn.org.