KPBS Follow-Up Interviews on Sequestration

August 26, 2013

Last week KPBS came by the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center to follow-up on the effect that federal across-the-board budget cuts have on low-income seniors in San Diego County.

Proposed cuts to Senior Community Centers’ Meals Program have increased to $233,000 since sequestration first became a reality in March of this year. At a cost of $2.50 per meal, these cuts leave 93,200 meals unfunded. While the gridlock in Washington to figure out the final budget is getting dangerous, Senior Community Centers is committed to serve high quality food and not turn any hungry seniors away.

Empty Plates

Listen to the interview and find out what seniors have to say here:

August 22, 2013 – KPBS Follow-Up Interview on Sequestration



Picture of the Month: Independence Day Festivities at the West Wellness Center

July 31, 2013

July marked another eventful month at Senior Community Centers. We launched new senior classes, started a new fiscal year, welcomed new local businesses to our volunteer program, hosted the Civic Engagement White Elephant Summer Sale and made sure that San Diego’s seniors and volunteers have plenty of opportunities to be healthy and active participants in our vibrant community.

An annual favorite event is our Independence Day party which has been hosted by our long-term friend JR Raines for over 15 years. JR and fellow Union Bank employees served cake and punch while putting these huge smiles onto our diverse group of seniors’ faces.

4thOfJuly - Compressed

(Click the picture to enlarge)

If you would like to host a party to join our dedicated team of volunteers, please visit our Volunteer Page for more information.


San Diego Seniors Personally Thank Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52)

June 10, 2013

Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) has made a bold statement and continues to advocate that across-the-board spending cuts are unwise: “The rules Congress imposes on others should apply to us too.”

IMG_2408pRep. Peters announced that he will take eight percent of his Congressional salary, which equates to about $1,300 per month, and donate it to Senior Community Centers to supplement meals for at-risk seniors. There is no proof that cutting funds to senior nutrition programs saves tax dollars.  On the contrary, evidence shows that providing seniors nutritionally balanced meals keeps them healthy, independent, and significantly reduces healthcare costs on the taxpayer.

Today, Rep. Peters had the opportunity to meet the beneficiaries of his exemplary gesture of support. He was welcomed at the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center with a roar of applause and received genuine handshakes and words of thanks while he served lunch to the seniors.

Senior Community Centers and thousands of San Diego seniors like the ones seen in the video clip below once again say “Thank You, Congressman Scott Peters”!


Debt-Free on our 3rd Anniversary of the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center Opening

April 19, 2013

April 22, 2013 marks the third anniversary of opening the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center.  Senior Community Centers staff, the Gary and Mary West Foundation and over 200 seniors gathered throughout the building to celebrate this home away from home.

Seniors took the stage to express their heartfelt gratitude towards Gary and Mary West as well as Senior Community Centers staff. The Dining Room, hallways and Gathering Place vibrated with positive energy and applause when I had the distinct pleasure of announcing that as of April 18, 2013, we are the proud owners of the building! Thanks to very generous supporters, we officially paid off all debt we incurred to build the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center.

IMG_1046

(Click the picture to view a short slideshow of the event)

Every day 600+ low-income seniors from all over San Diego come through our doors. The Center is home, a place where they receive companionship, support and healthy meals. Seniors feel safe because we have a zero tolerance against discrimination of any kind. I’ll leave you with a few widely-echoed sentiments that seniors said at the birthday party:

“I love coming to the Center. You treat less fortunate people with such respect that I feel human again.” ~Marcello

“I come here every day at 11 for lunch and then I stay for the afternoon activities. Everybody is so nice.” ~Lisa, 89


Fun Photo Friday – Peep-A-Palooza

April 12, 2013

Our volunteers show incredible kindness and creativity to make sure the seniors we serve are having a great time. One example is our Serving Seniors Team from AECOM who not only serves lunch at the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center 6-8 times per month but also included the Center in their Annual Peep-A-Palooza contest:

AECOM PEEPS

Angela Coriale, who is the volunteer coordinator for AECOM explains:

“Every year we have a Peep-A-Palooza contest where people build things out of peeps. This year someone (a non-volunteer) built a “Gary and Mary West Senior Peeps Center.” It won 3rd place – and the likeness is amazing!! They are even wearing our new AECOM aprons!”

Stay tuned on Facebook during the month of April for more Volunteer Highlights in honor of National Volunteer Week (April 21 -27). Happy Friday!



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