By Lindsay Doty
For a small group of 65-and-older friends who haven’t been out much since March, getting to play a few rounds of Portico BINGO under an awning outside Hendricks County Senior Services in Danville was a huge win.
They did it with temperature checks, socially-distant tables and masks.
“Our seniors have been so isolated or sad. They were thrilled and so excited just to see other people,” said Helee Adkins, HCSS development coordinator. “It will be a memory of mine forever because there was so much joy there. It just warmed our hearts. I cried.”
Hendricks County Senior Services (HCSS), a nonprofit based in Danville that helps local seniors or “older adults” live independently through programs and services, has been slowly opening back up with activities like BINGO and chair yoga that shut down due to COVID-19.
Other essential services have continued throughout the pandemic, including provided transportation for local seniors to medical appointments.
“We didn’t stop. People still needed dialysis and cancer treatment. People still need to get to work, so we are very thankful we can continue to help,” said Adkins.
HCSS has also continued to provide meals through its food pantry (adjusted to a drive-thru). During the pandemic, HCSS has been giving away an average of 6,500 pounds of food a month, compared to 8,009 pounds total in 2018.
“It’s been a heck of a year,” said Adkins.
To raise money to support these needs, HCSS will hold its anniversary fundraiser, marking 42 years. Instead of the usual breakfast event, they’ll have a virtual Give-A-Thon on Nov. 12 to celebrate Serve, Support, and Share.
“HCSS depends on $20,000 a year from this event to provide essential services to older adults in Hendricks County. We refuse to be discouraged,” said Marina Keers, HCSS executive director. “Since 1978, we have been meeting the needs of our seniors, and we won’t stop now.”
The group is collecting donations until Nov. 12 and hopes to meet the $20,000 goal by the end of the day. They have also been awarded a grant match from the Hendricks County Community Foundation.
People can donate online, drop off or mail donations. HCSS will follow up with a virtual Thank-A-Thon Nov. 19 via Facebook.
“We know our supporters believe in our mission and will make up for what COVID-19 has taken away. The pandemic has had a significant impact on the physical, mental and emotional health of our older adults. The dollars raised at this event will help us continue to meet the critical needs of our vulnerable senior neighbors,” said Keers.
Hendricks County Senior Services Give-a-Thon
When: Donate from now until Nov. 12
Facebook event: 9 a.m.-12 p.m Nov. 12
Hendricks County Senior Services Facebook page: http://facebook.com/HendricksCountySeniorServices
Ways to Give:
1.Online donations at bit.ly/HCSSDonation
- Contact Helee Adkins, (317) 910-4973 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Go to http://hcseniors.org
- Mail donation to Hendricks County Senior Services, 1201 Sycamore Lane, P.O. Box 448 Danville, Indiana 46112.