By CECIL PERGRAM
The Powell County Senior Center offers elderly members of the community many different forms of aid ranging from home meal deliveries, transportation to trips and activities held for them at the center.
One of the many sources of funding that the Senior Citizen Center uses to offer these kinds of assistance comes in the form of donations from the community to the Remembrance Tree.
The Powell County Kiwanis Club oversees all financial distributions related to the Remembrance Tree and says the costs of adding a leaf to the tree recently decreased including all copper, silver and gold packages.
“They can buy those in honor of someone or in memory of someone. There’s no restriction,” John Brewer said.”We’ve got some folks who are on a fixed income and we want to make it affordable to them because that’s what the tree is all about.”
“We have to have a fiscal agent to handle the money and that club stepped up and said they would do that they were one of a list of donors who originally donated the money to put the tree up,” John Brewer said. “Any money related to selling leaves on the tree goes to the Kiwanis Club and then once we order a leaf for the tree we get a check to pay for that. The seniors are in turn able to make any trips or something extra for the seniors in the local community.”
Brewer says that he was approached about the idea for the Remembrance Tree by Director Shelia Thomas who thought it would make a nice addition to the building when is was built in 2016.
“This was Shelia’s idea. She deserves all the credit because she came up with the idea and thought it would be nice to have the Remembrance Tree to put up when the Senior Citizens got the new building as a way to fund the Senior Citizens Fund,” Brewer said.
“A lot of people don’t know about this tree and it will good for the community to know about it and that all the money generated from it is going back into helping this county and these seniors,” Thomas said.
Thomas says that since moving to the new location the Senior Citizens Center has experienced a boost in seniors taking advantage of the addition to the community and that means additional funding is need for the center.
“We used to have around eight people total who would actually come into the building and ate,” Thomas said. “Now we are averaging almost 15 people daily and that’s not when we are holding one of our bigger members. We have 60 active members when we used to have maybe 20.”
“We deliver meals into the community and we can end up delivering anywhere from 800-to-1000 meals a month to the seniors,” Thomas said.
For more information about the Tree of Life you can contact Shelia Thomas or Donna Thorpe at 606-663-5981.
Marh is National Nutritional Awareness Month and Thomas says she has made arrangements with local officials to come help prepare and deliver meals on house calls.
“I’ve done it a couple of times and it’s rewarding to see people’s face light up when they see someone because in some cases that might be the only person they see that day,” Brewer said.
“Some of the people who live in this community they live out-of-state and there’s nobody left here and we are the only people who see them through the day,” Thomas said. “They just depend on us to there everyday and that meals are going to be delivered.”
“We have some seniors who just need somethings from time-to-time like an electric razor to some people that is a really big item to them if they are on a fixed income,” Thomas said. “We take trips to the Belle of Louisville or the Kentucky Events and sometimes in some cases those things can cost $35 or $45 per person and some of the people just can’t really afford that. We want all seniors to have the ability we dividend out a certain amount of money to make the tickets affordable for everybody.”
The Powell County Senior Citizen hopes in the future to add an additional storage building at the facility to allow the center to accept donations from members of the community.
“if somebody wants to make a donation of something that people can use we would like to be able to take advantage of that until its needed,” Brewer said.