By Carmen Rideout. This article also appeared in The Sheridan Press.

The holiday season is quickly approaching and, with that, the spirit of giving and thankfulness is in the air. The need for your generosity is greater than ever this year.

This year has been unlike anything we have seen at The Hub on Smith or in the Sheridan community. The year 2020 started as the celebration of a new decade filled with anticipation for spring programming and lazy days at our beloved Kendrick Park and was met quickly in March with the announcement of our need to close our doors because of the coronavirus pandemic, which posed a great health threat to our seniors due to their advanced age and potentially compromised health.

We made the agonizing decision March 16 to close our doors to ensure the health and safety of our community’s most precious residents — our seniors. Despite this radical change, each of our teams quickly mobilized to develop and execute plans to continue to serve all of our clients — just in a brand new way.

One of our clients, Mary recently shared:

“I am new to the Sheridan community and heard about The Hub from my friends at church. Last winter I started having lunch and playing bingo in the dining room, but it wasn’t until I recently fell and broke my hip that I truly understood the wealth of programs offered at The Hub,” Mary said. “I was able to borrow a walker from the Loan Closet and the Support Center Team even connected me with the Home Delivered Meals program! It is such a treat to greet the wonderful volunteers who deliver a delicious hot lunch to my house every day.

“Every week I get a call from Jamie Hoeft in the Support Center who checks up on me while I get back on my feet. I don’t know what I would have done without all these wonderful community resources — most of which were made available to me at a very minimal cost. The staff at The Hub have become like family! What a tremendous resource these programs are to folks like me.”

When asked why people should give to the Holiday Spirit Campaign, Mary continued:

“The people and help available through The Hub are second to none. Everyone really makes you feel cared for — these people are my friends and family now. It can be difficult for seniors like me living all alone — getting to the grocery store, trying to cook for myself. And when something happens — it’s great to know that I’ve got people who can help.

“This COVID-19 pandemic has sure been scary for me and my friends, but it puts my heart at ease knowing someone’s going to call and make sure I’m OK. My family who live across the country are even more at ease knowing that The Hub is helping me navigate this challenging time. That is what community is all about. Loving your neighbor, you know? I’m so blessed to call Sheridan my home and feel really fortunate to have found The Hub.”

Thanks in great part to the generosity of friends and supporters, many of our community’s seniors are able to receive the services they need through these essential programs to live at home and remain active members of our community, for as long as possible.

Your generosity touches thousands of lives in Sheridan County. Thank you for making a difference.