An AmeriCorps program connecting service members and under-resourced communities throughout Washington state
Time has just flown by; I can’t believe I will be entering 4th quarter of my second year at the City of Ellensburg’s Adult Activity Center (AAC). We have accomplished so much but there is so much more to do. In addition to teaching computer skills, SAIL and participating in Tia Chi, I have been expanding the outreach and networking in the community for the AAC. My goal this year has been to increase public awareness about the AAC as a resource. I have been reaching out through community networks, Social Service programs, Fraternal, Veterans and service group with our mission.
The AAC is for those 50 years and up to promote health & wellness and social inclusion. We are trying diligently to recruit more younger seniors to join our center. The response from many, when I talk about the AAC is “I’m too young for the AAC, I’m only 65”. By reaching out to service and veterans’ groups I hope to help them understand what the AAC can do for them in promoting a healthy lifestyle and community involvement.
I have done 4 formal presentations to groups this quarter and have been in touch with 6 other groups to do presentations or be presenters at the AAC. The AAC is a great place to come for fun, fitness and friendships. Our table tennis activity group has grown with leaps and bounds. Since the beginning of this quarter (2 days a week), we have gone from 1 table to 4 and added Saturday as an extra day of play. This has been an encouragement to our younger community seniors.
Hosting the Chamber of Commerce “Business after hours” was a wonderful evening showcasing all that AAC has to offer. The Business After Hours program highlights the host business/program to the Chamber and community. I initiated this project after recruiting members of the Chamber of Commerce to come talk at our Brown Bag Lunch & Learn. In the process I learned about the Business After Hours events and signed us up for the event for February. I recruited 12 of our members plus I staff got involved to showcase what the AAC is about. This event gave us the opportunity to emphasize what can be accomplished with AmeriCorps members as driving forces behind community involvement and volunteerism.