The pandemic isolated many people last year – including seniors who often live alone, away from loved ones. However, this holiday season, the Rotary Club of Santa Clarita made Thanksgiving a little easier for seniors and their families.
The Rotary Club of Santa Clarita donated 200 turkeys on Tuesday morning – 100 turkeys to the Bella Vida Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center and another 100 to the Santa Clarita Grocery. Dave Reeves, the 2021-2022 president of the Rotary Club, said he brought the action to the board and they supported this year’s senior turkey drive.
“With COVID, when it hit last year, it was very difficult to do anything and a lot of entities got hurt – inducing a place like this (referring to the SCV Senior Center),” Reeves said. “For (Kevin MacDonald, chief executive officer of the center) to say that these turkeys couldn’t have come at a more opportune time was awesome.”
Scott Hoolahan, a Rotary member who volunteered to drop off the turkeys, said he decided to get involved with the organization because his family and friends affiliated with the group encouraged him to join.
“They convinced me to join the crew,” Hoolahan said. “I’m super thankful that I did because it’s events like this that I get to be a part of and give back to the community.”
MacDonald said the senior center has had a “wonderful partnership” with the Rotary Club for many years.
“Rotary donated 100 turkeys. We’re going to distribute them throughout the community in the next few days to make sure seniors who wouldn’t have had a Thanksgiving meal have a Thanksgiving meal,” MacDonald said.
He added they are still dealing with impacts from COVID-19, but the SCV Senior Center continues to serve the community.
“Nutrition is one of those things (an important focus), especially around the holidays,” MacDonald said. “Seniors have been isolated for so long, so hopefully, this is a breakthrough and we can keep going forward.”
The senior center provides more than 72,000 meals every month to seniors in the community through its home delivered meals program. The center also provides counseling and support services, an assortment of recreation and wellness activities, and a day program, according to MacDonald.
Thanks to the Rotary Club, the senior center will provide seniors with a Thanksgiving meal, added MacDonald.
“I think when you have a service club that connects with a nonprofit organization, that’s the beauty of what’s going on here,” MacDonald said. “When you have a Rotary, one of the premier groups in the entire world comes in and says, ‘We’ll help out a senior center.” There’s a special connection there.”