As each year passes, some may forget to celebrate their birthdays or choose to ignore them all together.
This isn’t the case for Jimmy, however, a Serving Seniors client who embraces his birthdays as another year of acquired wisdom, life experiences, and connection with others.
Terrie's real passion is art. When she heard Serving Seniors' Senior Art Contest, Artopia, was back this year she got to work creating a masterpiece from her heart.
"This painting represents the story of my life," Terrie said. "I have where I live on here and even the Wellness Center."
"I would like to show our appreciation for the kindness we have received from this lovely place for a long time. It has been a God savior for me..."
As a cancer survivor in remission, Leda has a lot to be thankful for. Read her personal letter of gratitude to Serving Seniors.
"I have no where to go."
These were the words that crossed Pamela's mind after she was laid off from her bus driver job at the airport due to COVID. This job was not only her routine the last few years, but her safety net and her source of a stable income.
Get up. Get dressed. Connect with the community.
For over 15 years, this has been Cunya's daily routine - a routine that has kept him physically active, social with others and able to live on his own at 101 years old.
Born on June 23, 1920 Cunya is one of Serving Seniors' oldest clients, who will be celebrating his 102nd birthday later this month.
Every time Julieta visits our Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center, she has to take two different buses and two trolleys.
The commute takes her a few hours - but for Julieta, it's worth every second. "I love it here. When I come here I forget about all my problems."
Before the pandemic hit, William practiced cello. Months into the pandemic, he picked it up a notch.
To connect with his community around him, William volunteered with Serving Seniors by performing Courtyard Concerts. This was his way of sharing his musical talent to bring joy to our senior residents.
Palms sweating and heart beating quickly, Richard sat on the sanitized paper in the doctor’s office.
With every move of his body, he could hear the paper crinkle underneath his legs and the steady tick of the clock pass minute after minute.
It was his least favorite day of the year – the day of his annual doctor’s visit. It seemed like he had been waiting hours for his doctor to walk in and share his medical lab results.
February is American Heart Month - the perfect time to reassess your weekly activity and take action to reduce your chances in developing heart disease.
Vivian, finds her weekly exercise by participating in Serving Seniors' Walking Group every week and socializing with her friends.
With the current omicron COVID-19 surge, Serving Seniors is implementing additional protocols for clients, staff, and volunteers to ensure the health and safety of our San Diego community remains our utmost priority throughout the new year and beyond.
From providing meals to combatting the effects of social isolation, our mission to help seniors in poverty live healthy and fulfilling lives remains our core focus.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic started in early 2020, we have all felt an immense sense of fear. This is especially true for Anthony, who has been isolated since the start of the pandemic due to his chronic illnesses.
But with a love for art and helping others, Anthony has put his extra time to good use.
For the last seven years, Loretta, age 88, has lived on her own since her husband passed away. To keep busy she stays involved with her church community, sells Avon, and has dressed up as Mrs. Claus at the Imperial Beach Pier for the past 17 years.
For the last three years, Joyce has woken up with a big smile on her face.
She had found her second home - the Oceanside Senior Citizens Center. This was the place she could meet with her friends and catch up on their lives over a warm coffee or lunch.
Loneliness, discomfort and sadness were all emotions Jerry felt for 516 days.
Staring at the walls of his apartment soon became apart of his daily routine, and he could only daydream about receiving a warm embrace from one of his friends.
Exhausted, overwhelmed, and hopeless, Richard grew accustomed to laying his head on a stiff motel pillow night after night.
All he could hear was the tick of an old clock and a roaring voice inside his head asking, ““How did I get here? Where did it all go wrong?”
For over a year, thousands of seniors have been combatting depression and social isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With her family far away in England, Rosemary experienced little face-to-to face interaction for months at a time and had to rely on her six-year-old dog Kami for comfort and companionship.
David has been a resident at Potiker Family Senior Residence for the last nine years.
David takes pride in being independent and self-sufficient. But when he experiences difficulties or complications, specifically when it comes to the health care system, he knows Serving Seniors is there to support him.
"This program gives me something to look forward to each week. I don't have much of a social life on most days, and I look forward to the days I talk to Ben."
Since the COVID-19 pandemic started last year, Wei has experienced the crippling effects of social isolation and has rarely left his room at San Diego Square.
Martha, our Volunteer Administrative Assistant at Serving Seniors, started volunteering in November of last year, but was first a shelf-stable meal delivery driver for the organization.
"As a delivery driver, I loved connecting with the seniors," Martha said. "It's great to see the same seniors every week and get to know them on a first-name basis."
Similar to many of our senior residents, Judith was worried about having access to the COVID-19 vaccine.
Thanks to our partnership with Cal Fire, she was able to receive both doses from her housing facility, the Schmale Family Senior Residence in Ramona.
The recent killings in Atlanta and rising incidences of physical attacks towards Asian Americans, especially vulnerable seniors, are grim reminders of the disparities, injustices, and violence experienced by the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities from all walks of life.
One year ago, Serving Seniors was ordered to shut down one of its core services to impoverished San Diego county seniors. As the largest provider of meals to San Diego County’s older adults, it could no longer keep its 11 congregate meal sites open due to the public health crisis.
Virtually overnight, Serving Seniors rapidly responded to the urgent health and nutritional needs of San Diego County’s low-income seniors impacted by COVID-19, creating a new program from scratch to provide home-delivered and to-go meals for clients.
Food resources, health instruction, love and community and most importantly, a sense of belonging, are all given for free. I can honestly say my life was saved, and lives are being enriched every day, by all you do.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Diane enjoyed participating in activities at the Senior Wellness Center and socializing with her senior friends in the Potiker Senior Family Residence where she lives.
Since March of last year, that human interaction and face-to-face connection has been little to non-existent in her everyday life.
When looking at the year ahead, Serving Seniors is hopeful to reopen the doors of our flagship location, the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center and various congregate dining sites in 2021.
Like many seniors, Vivian was first introduced to Serving Seniors over a warm meal, and today, she has been visiting our senior center for over six years.
For Anirudh, as with most of us, 2020 hasn’t gone as predicted. He never imagined having to say a final goodbye to his grandfather in India over video.
Anirudh’s love for seniors transpired from the relationship he built with his grandfather. Every summer Anirudh and his family would travel to India to spend months at a time with his grandparents.
Serving Seniors Showcases 50 Years of Service to San Diego’s Senior Community. The San Diego nonprofit releases their 2019-2020 Annual Impact Report, highlighting the immense influence in lives across the County including recognition as 2020 San Diego Top Workplaces awardee.
A resident at San Diego Square, in Downtown San Diego, Mary has been a familiar face around the Gary & Mary West Senior Wellness Center for more than six years. Before the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily closed the doors of our Wellness Center, she was a regular.
Mary was having trouble finding a place to live when she was introduced to Serving Seniors by a friend. After her daughter helped her apply for affordable housing, she was soon placed in San Diego Square.
The San Diego nonprofit was chosen by Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins for its extensive work serving the senior community facing poverty.
The organization is being honored for its work in the San Diego community and ensuring that older Americans facing economic insecurity receive the care and support to lead healthy lives.
Now, more than ever, the role of seniors in the upcoming election is critical, and their collective participation holds power. Records show that older voters consistently vote in greater numbers than any other age group.
At the age of 67, Leonard was homeless and alone living on the streets of Las Vegas. Occasionally he’d find refuge at a shelter, but due to widespread homelessness and the housing crisis, Leonard was usually left sleeping on the streets in 117-degree heat. Eventually, he made his way to San Diego in hopes of a brighter future.
Prior to closing the doors of our Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center to the public in March, our flagship location offered a full range of wraparound services to support low-income seniors 7-days a week.
We are pleased to announce Mid-City Family Apartments and Mid-City Senior Apartments are coming to the City Heights neighborhood. This is a true intergenerational community project featuring access to onsite activities, case management, and no-cost Serving Seniors meals.
California is in the process of revising its state budget, and the Governor's current proposal will disproportionately affect low-income older adults. Serving Seniors is opposing these cuts and you can too by contacting your legislators today. Let’s speak up together so our voices are heard!
Leon has a lifelong love for art and photography, and used to work in his own art studio in downtown San Diego. A near-death incident left him paralyzed, but did not hinder his spirits to see the best in life and remember that it's okay.
We are excited to announce that shelf stable meals are now being delivered to senior homes around the county! As the governor’s stay-at-home order continues, Serving Seniors has adapted to meet the needs of seniors in isolation by delivering shelf stable meal boxes with 21 sustaining meals.
If you have ever visited Serving Seniors Gary & Mary West Senior Wellness Center you may have seen beautiful, vibrant floral displays delicately resting on each table in the dining room. Did you notice they are actually made of plastic? Marie, a Serving Seniors client and volunteer, makes these displays from plastic bottles and other recycled materials.
After experiencing fear and anxiety from the COVID-19 pandemic, one woman found comfort in receiving home-delivered meals. This inspired her to give back.
Silvia's history has inspired her to advocate for older adults struggling with homelessness and mental health issues.
Many years ago, Trini and Terry came to the Wellness Center for the same reason. They wanted a hot, nutritious meal and access to Serving Seniors health and wellness services...
At the age of 62, Jane lost her job. Her declining health made it impossible to work. But instead of finding comfort, she found herself living in her car.
With the hustle and bustle of the busy holiday season, it’s easy to lose sight of what really matters. You may miss the 73-year-old man in worn-out clothing, living in his car with no idea when he will have his next meal. That’s what happened to our friend Greg.
I knew I was in the right place; giving food to people in need, where everyone is thankful for the gift of a nutritious meal that I was helping serve!
After a long career in San Diego working in the boat yards, Carl was ready to retire. For most people this is an exciting time but for him it was not...
After her daughter relocated to Washington, D.C., Joy found herself living alone for the first time in her life. Within a few months she had become completely isolated, and would often go days without speaking or interacting with anyone...
Catherine never imagined she would be on the edge of homelessness, but that is where she found herself after an injury ended her career...
A refugee from Lebanon, Nabil moved to the U.S. in 1975 to flee his country’s civil war. In 2000, he moved to San Diego and opened his own dry cleaning business, Rosecrans Cleaners. For years the business was successful and profitable...
Like so many of our seniors, Bruce thought he was healthy until a single visit to the doctor changed everything...
Jane believed things would be better in California...