By Kevin MacDonald
CEO, SCV senior center
We miss you already – all our friends from the years at Market Street to the new friends we just met when we opened our new senior center – called Bella Vida (Beautiful Life).
We hope to see you soon and that the time will come when the doors will swing open again and the Grand Ballroom will be filled with great meals and music. In the meantime, you need to stay at home and stay safe, but know you are missed and cherished by your SCV Senior Center family.
As our new family grew at Bella Vida — some would take the name to extremes and call themselves “Bella Vidians.” A fun nickname. However, during these challenging times, I have come to appreciate a new group of people I like to call the “Bella Vida Warriors.”
The Bella Vida Warriors are the volunteers and staff who continue to serve our senior community every day. These wonderful people help us deliver meals to more than 480 individuals in our “meals on wheels” program often called “home-delivered meals.” It is during these challenging times that our seniors still need a meal and these volunteers and staff show up with a smile and head out with up to 40 delicious meals in one of our little cars.
Kind, generous, thoughtful — each and every one. Our protocol has changed, and we don’t walk into a home and chat anymore — it’s more of a “knock and drop” and we make sure their meal is picked up. We added eight new routes for the home-delivered meals program and some of our staff who were furloughed are working these routes — a gift of love wrapped in a special lunch by our Bella Vida Warriors.
Lizz and Josh Mendez deliver meals and shared, “We want to be involved with our community. It brings us joy to give back and get connected.”
Thoughtful, caring Bella Vida Warriors.
The Grand Ballroom is closed, but our “Drive Thru” service for seniors is setting records each day. It is also manned by Bella Vida Warriors — volunteers who come to guide the seniors through the parking lot maze and deliver a meal on a platter. They come out every day to serve, wave, sing and give a little joy during a difficult time.
Last week, more than 800 meals were made and packaged by volunteers and staff arriving at 5:30 a.m. to start their shift. They know why they are there — these warriors want to serve. Renee Wheeler is one of those warriors and states, “It keeps me active, and I can give back to the seniors.”
Our counselors also serve many people every day. Some go into homes to care for the most fragile and others make phone calls just to say hello and tell them they care.
The brand-new senior center building may be closed for now, but the volunteers and staff who make up the “Bella Vida Warriors” will continue to do everything in their power to serve the senior community. Our senior community is not forgotten; in fact, they are loved more than ever.
As CEO for this great organization — my thanks to the “Bella Vida Warriors” for serving our community when we need you the most.
Kevin MacDonald, CEO
SCV Senior Center at Bella Vida