Seward Senior Center: Basic Needs Grant Update Helping Our Elders in a Time of Need

Last month the Seward Community Foundation was pleased to give a $2500 grant to the Seward Senior Center to be utilized for basic needs as the Center saw necessary. The timing of this gift, which was provided by SCF through the Alaska Community Foundation, couldn’t have been more appropriate. Isolated Seniors can feel helpless as social distancing mandates are keeping many of our local elders from being able to shop, see family, or visit the Senior Center, which shut its doors due to the virus.

The Center’s doors are closed to the public for its regular activities of fitness programs, music, arts and recreation, and basic socializing, among other things. However, the Senior Center’s staff and volunteers are busy doing the essential needs of feeding and transporting groceries or medication to our seniors who may be stuck at home. As of April 1st, the Center is serving up to 80 emergency home-delivered meals per day, Monday through Friday between Seward and Moose Pass, and has cooked and distributed 1400 meals since March 13th! This massive undertaking and a necessary one that is carried out by the Center’s dedicated volunteers who prepare, package, and transport these nutritious meals with mask-wearing smiles.  

The Seward Senior Center’s director, Dana Paperman, says it best, “The value of a home-cooked meal delivered to a senior’s home, by a beautiful human with a smile and words of encouragement, is priceless. The knowledge that is passed from one to another, with a voice of reasoning and wisdom, can calm the waters, at times when the senior feels adrift on the sea. Our rescuers, those volunteers who are throwing out their life ring, to keep the senior afloat until this storm passes are what this community is made of.”

A big THANK YOU from the Seward Community Foundation to Dana, all her staff, and the volunteers who are working tirelessly to aid our senior populations during this historic time.  

Funding for this grant was provided by the Alaska Community Foundation’s Alaska Fund. The Michalski Family Fund and Lorrie and Morris Horning Donor Advised Fund both joined the Alaska Community Foundation in supporting this grant.