Located at 212 Yellowstone Avenue, the Alliance Senior Center is a great facility that meets many the needs of senior citizens in Alliance. The facility hosts a Nutrition Site, the RSVP program, the Handyman program, and schedules a variety of activities for seniors and for all ages.
During normal times the Senior Center has several social activities geared to seniors. These are available to anyone, and intergenerational interaction is encouraged. And there is no cost to participate. However, the Aging Office of Western Nebraska and the Governor have determined that the facility is to remain temporarily closed due to COVID-19 and the high risk to certain populations, including senior citizens.
Normally card parties happen the first and third Tuesdays of each month. People play pinochle, canasta, or other games, and participants bring snacks to share. Wednesday is Bingo day. Thursdays find seniors taking line dance lessons or creating art projects. Friday mornings people are invited for coffee and treats. Mondays are left open for seniors to suggest activities. People are at the Center all day playing cards, putting together puzzles, or getting assistance with various problems.
With the Center closed this spring and summer, most of these activities are not happening. On Thursdays, however, line dancing and art projects have been moved to the parking lot where participants can practice social distancing. The shade trees on the south side of the parking lot and canopy tents provide the shelter needed to keep out of the sun. Social interaction is important, so don a mask and come on down at 9:30 am. Angie Flesner, director, is organizing other parking lot activities; watch for more information.
The Nutrition Site provides a meal every day Monday - Friday for people aged 60 and older. Normally the lunch room is full every day. Since the Center is not open to the public, meals can be picked up or delivered in Alliance. Grab n Go meals are $4.00 and may be picked up 11:30-12:00. Under age 60 may order Grab n Go meals, and their price is $8.00. Most meals are delivered and cost $4.25. The Nutrition Site has special rates through the Aging Office using Medicaid or the Feed a Hungry Senior program, and people must fill out an application for those rates. Most seniors who participate have daily meals delivered and have set up a schedule with the Nutrition Site. People who want meals delivered only occasionally can phone 762-8774 by 9:00 a.m.
Through the Handyman program, seniors 60 and older can receive assistance with housekeeping, lawn care, and snow removal, allowing them to remain in their homes longer. Those who want this assistance fill out an intake app, and their income determines what they will pay for these services. People who provide these services work as independent contractors. Contact the Senior Center for an application.
RSVP, the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, is a great way for retired people age 55 and older, to continue to serve our community. Volunteers deliver meals and serve at Community Table. Seniors work with children at the Alliance Recreation Center After-School Program or tutor in the schools. Several people knit or crochet hats and mittens for Head Start children or make quilts. Construction skills are needed by Habitat for Humanity or Dobby’s Frontier Town. Volunteers help at the Mission Store and Collection Basket and the gift shop at the hospital. In normal years seniors staff tables selling tickets for Heritage Days, the county fair, or special fund raisers and events, or volunteer to help with Stuff the Bus, providing school supplies to children whose families cannot afford those expenses. Businesses and organizations contact the Senior Center all the time to ask for RSVP volunteers.
The programs available through the Alliance Senior Center provide a great service to our community by offering a place for senior citizens to socialize and by offering activities and services regardless of the senior’s financial situation. Call Angie Flesner at the Senior Center at 762-1293 for more information about any of their programs.