Washington County Senior Center
Mission Statement: The mission of the Washington County Senior Center is to provide a facility in which older citizens of the community can meet to pursue mutual interests, participate in organized activities, and enjoy a hot, nutritionally based meal with companions on a daily basis.
Our vision is to improve the quality of life of senior citizens of Washington County by expanding our first class services to all seniors in the community, while striving to maintain and provide a safe and inviting environment to all those who enroll in our programs.
When you walk into the Washington County Senior Center, you’re sure to see many bright smiles and a variety of attractive décor to make you feel welcome and at home. Creative staff members generate fanciful displays throughout the center to draw attention to the various upcoming events. A wide variety of programming is provided so that everyone in the community will be able to find something they enjoy. Perhaps the biggest draw is the monthly BINGO program that takes place several times per month. Not only does the Center provide fun and entertaining programs for Seniors, but Seniors have the opportunity to give back a portion of their enjoyment to the community with various fund-raising activities. Seniors participants host canned food drives, contribute to the Feed the Children organization, raise money for the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, as well as, provide Christmas bags for the area nursing home patients. Seniors have also crafted several quilts and raffled them off to raise money for needed items for the Center and to generate future Senior events. Twelve new tables were purchased with funds provided from the Christmas Open House held in December of 2008, which boasted a huge selection of wonderful craft items for visitors to acquire for Christmas gifts. Visitors were delighted to experience an “Old Fashioned Christmas,” complete with the smell of cedar and candles aglow in the windows, so to sample a variety of homemade Christmas goodies, and to join in singing traditional carols with Center members. Participants also sold luminaries in honor/memory of loved ones as a fund-raising event during the Christmas season.
Not only does the Center provide entertaining and fund-raising opportunities, but it provides more serious programming that allows seniors to find out more about their health and welfare. WCSC has hosted discussions on Diabetes, Identification Theft, Basic First Aid, Skin Cancer, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education, Medicare Part D, Fall Prevention, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. Numerous guests provide volunteer services to help give Seniors a better understanding of the issues facing them today. Each month the Center also provides a program entitled “Activities for the Soul”. This program allows group participation in stories, poetry readings, and songs relating to a specific spiritual topic. In the spring of 2008, the Center dedicated its garden area in memory of five members who had passed away since the re-opening of the Center in November of 2007. The garden hosts a variety of blooming florals and various edibles such as tomatoes, bell peppers, and eggplants. Center members help keep the flowers watered and the seasonal vegetables picked. The Center also hosted a ceremony in the spring of 2008 honoring all past and present Senior Center members by planting a red crape myrtle to the right of the circular driveway.
Parties and socials are a large part of the fun to be found at the Washington County Senior Center. One of the most exciting socials is the annual Christmas cookie exchange. This events is usually held near the beginning of December. Seniors bake homemade cookies to share with one another, and compete for awards such as, the most unique recipe, the best tasting cookie, or the most colorful cookie display. Besides holiday parties, there are frequent birthday celebrations and even concerts from local are volunteers, such as the Joyful Senior Band, and Mr. Otis Smith. Local Christian recording artist, Chuck Hancock even dropped by in April of 2008 to present a concert and provided free CD’s for those in attendance. So, if you want to be “French for a day”, “Lost in the Fifties”, or attend a “Teddy Bear Picnic”, the Waco Senior center is the place for you! There’s no better place to make a new friend.
Besides planning all the entertainment and activities, the staff at WCSC does a tremendous job in keeping up with the latest food service issues. There are two Serv Safe certified employees staffed by the Center who serve lunch meals to participants. Tthose 60 and older are screened by the director and entered into the AIMS system by the Area Agency on Aging staff in Augusta, Georgia for the opportunity to receive a free meal. On February 24, 2009 the Center received the first annual “Silver Spoon Award” at the quarterly Area Agency on Aging menu meeting in Augusta, Georgia, for their conscientious work in getting the Senior Center up and running in such a brief time and for having a fully certified staff of kitchen help. They won a basket of soft drinks, a certificate, and a large pizza from the local, Fox’s Pizza Den.
The staff at WCSC had the opportunity to nominate two local volunteers who provided assistance to the Center on a regular basis during 2008. The staff selected Mr. Ricky Beal, who assisted in cooking special meals, provided maintenance, and gave numerous volunteer hours helping to make the center a more updated and attractive place to visit. The staff also selected The Washington County Spotlight as the organization who contributed the most to the center in 2008. From the beginning, owner, Australia Cochran, began promoting upcoming events at the center by dropping in to take photographs and even became the taste tester for the first annual Christmas Cookie Exchange. She later introduced “Grandma’s Kitchen”, a special section in her newspaper designed to promote the Center, as well as, share nutritious recipes with her readers. The Center is grateful for the support of the Washington County community! In 2012, Lynne Beal, Activity Director was chosen as the Best Center Manager by the CSRA AAA by nomination of AAA employee, Cindy Elia. Lynne does a fabulous job locating fun activities and creative crafts that seniors can participate in or make. Congratulations to Lynne on this wonderful accomplishment!
The Center re-opened in 2007 under the auspices of The Washington County Board of Commissioners. The Center is operated under the direction of The Washington County Recreation Department. The hours of operation are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Anyone interested in becoming a part of this growing group can contact the Washington County Recreation Department at (478) 552-0013 or the Washington County Senior Center at (478) 552-0898. The Washington County Senior Center is located at 448 Maurice Friedman Drive in Sandersville, Georgia.
In Fall of 2013, WCSC became involved in an exciting new project with the Washington County Emergency Management Services. The kick-off event was held on December 19th at WCSC with Santa arriving by ambulance to hand out “Vials of Life” to the participants and other community guests. The Vial of Life program was able to get off the ground with grant support from Washington EMC and contributions from the Tennille Rotary Club. Seniors and community members with numerous health issues may register for a vial to be located in their refrigerator door. Contained inside the vial is paperwork providing insurance and health information, and a list of medications taken by the recipient. EMS responders will know to look for this container upon arriving at a location if a sticker is visible outside the door of the home. This could be a life-saving project for many in the Washington County Community, especially if the person is unable to respond to EMS personnel upon arrival. If you are in need of a vial, please contact the Washington County Emergency Management Services located behind Washington County Regional Medical Center. Watch for more events promoting this new project!
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