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August 19, 2013

Among the many volunteer service projects coordinated by Community & Seasoned Citizens, members construct monthly decorative or snack favors for residents of local nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

ere from left to right: Vesta Garwood, Linda Sergent, Leah Bressler, Roz Bressler, and Jeanette Westfall.
No one likes to be alone. Marysville resident Marge James can attest to that. She moved to Union County in 2007 to be near her son a year after her husband died. She was new in town, and had few friends and contacts.

“I was looking for an organization to get me out of the house,” she said.

That fall, she attended the Union County Senior Fair, an event showcasing multiple groups and businesses that serve the senior population. That’s when she connected with Community and Seasoned Citizens and began attending the group’s weekly card games.

“The sad part is that when someone has a spouse die, or their kids move them here from out of town and now they’re all alone, the first thing they do is not to reach out to someone, but to suffer in silence,” said Anne Daniel, CASC’s Activities Director. “They suffer from self-imposed isolation, which is the single worst cause for depression. And depression leads to physical, mental, and emotional complications.”

James took a quick liking to the new friends who welcomed her with open arms and now serves as Community and Seasoned Citizens’ President. She helps to coordinate several of their programs, such as a monthly food box distribution to 213 low-income seniors, crafting monthly favors for delivery to 370 residents of area nursing homes and assisted living facilities, or knitting hats for Warm Up America.

Seniors have access to computers with internet at the Community and Seasoned Citizens.

“It’s a great place for companionship. And if you are a volunteer or service-minded person, we’re always doing some projects for the community.”

Community and Seasoned Citizens is based out of the American Legion Hall in Marysville and boasts nearly 500 members. Bus trips, shopping ventures, exercise sessions, movie showings, crafting projects, games, tournaments, a computer lab, potlucks, and performances highlight a busy schedule that keeps seniors active and involved throughout the week.

With the population of Union County residents age 65 and over expected to grow by 33 percent by 2020, United Way is mindful of the emphasis that must be placed in this area.

Four of United Way’s Funded Partners, including the Community and Seasoned Citizens, are dedicated to meeting the changing needs for area seniors.

A card game and companionship can always be found at the Community and Seasoned Citizens, located inside the American Legion Hall in Legion Park, Marysville.

“If we, Windsor, Richwood Civic Center, and Pleasant Valley accommodated all of the seniors we could at full organizational capacity, then we’d still have more than half of the senior population not involved,” said Daniel.

United Way works to bring neighbors and resources together to improve lives in Union County. United Way of Union County has raised more than $17 million for local needs since it was established in 1958. More than just a fundraiser, United Way collaborates with local businesses, government, and non-profit organizations to solve pressing social service issues large and small.

For more information, please visit www.unitedwayofunioncounty.org
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