A message from Kathi Boyle with the Persad SAGE project.
It was a wonderful day with the Westmoreland LGBTQ Senior Group! A generous donor gave Persad a gift specifically to allow us to get these folks together at least every other month for a meal and socializing.
The day started with pick-ups in Apollo, Vandergrift and Mt Pleasant. On to Greensburg and a fun lunch at Chili’s. Everyone delivered home with gifts and cookies and good cheer.>
Then on to Pittstown and Herminie to deliver gifts and holiday wishes to two folks who were not able to go out to lunch. Folks were overwhelmed with appreciation for the kindness of others and for being remembered! Our LGBTQ seniors often feel ignored by our community that can tend to forget that we all grow older, if fortunate, and that we seniors still matter.
Thanks to all who donated items and gift cards. The holidays are definitely more joyful for these five seniors – and truly for me as I have again been reminded of the kind hearts of so many.
It was a lovely experience to help organize this project. I know that many of you sent cards and items from our Persad wish list. Others donated through the Persad website which is a wonderful way to give back at any time of the year. I was touched that someone donated for ongoing socialization opportunities. It is a really nice sustainable gift to our community elders to do something like that.
We posted earlier in the year about some of the challenges facing our community as we age.
If you or someone you love is 65+ and part of the LGBTQ community, they may find SAGE a useful resource for a range of supports. Please visit the Persad page to learn more.
Persad and SAGE very much need volunteers to do everything from friendly visits to offer rides to people who wish to attend community events. Each time I hear this, I think of how our community mobilized in response to AIDS to organize supports that people needed. Some of these very seniors are HIV+ and remember that, too. Surely we can find ways to incorporate these important tasks into our lives now. Can you imagine if each community group (bowling, parenting, bears, leather, square dancing, film festivals, bingo’s, etc) made an effort to reach out just one time each year?
We could not post photos of the elders out of respect for their privacy, so Kathi sent some photos of her ‘gift wrap central’ station where she received an assist from Bailey in the wrapping process.