The “What’s Next” Initiative helps seniors that are left with little social interaction during COVID-19

After three successful Drive-In Food Pantries at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church, the local St. Vincent de Paul conference challenged themselves with a “What’s next?” Initiative.

Their answer to that question came through a discussion that conference member Ann Tripp had with Chrissy Crabtree, the Director of the Butt’s County Senior Center. With the center closed since March due to Covid-19, Tripp learned as many as 80 local seniors were home-bound, even with quarantines and physical separations becoming a community norm.

“Without our support, many of our seniors are left with little social interaction,” Crabtree said.

Aside from deliveries by Meals on Wheels drivers and social workers providing medications, home visits are few and far between, even from family members concerned with exposing their senior family members to their potential COVID risk.

“And few,” she continued, “have computers or the skills to stay in touch with the rest of the world via the internet. We are always searching for ways to keep them connected with the community.”

With that in mind and the support of financial donations to SVdP, the group sourced discounted “comfort items” that on Friday, were bagged together into “care packages” and delivered to the Senior Center by Tripp and other conference volunteers. The packages, which included lotions, toilet tissue, word puzzle books, sweet treats, arts and crafts, (and more), will be delivered this week with the seniors’ regular meal deliveries.

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