After announcing last month that their doors will remain open, the Wallingford Community Senior Center has steadily begun to rebuild.
The center has reached 20 percent of their fundraising goal toward an anonymously donated $25,000 Challenge Grant since ramping up efforts in March. Additionally, they’ve welcomed back two former programs and are gearing up to host a community-wide pancake breakfast later this month.
Kathleen Cromp of the Senior Center tells us that they have reached about $5,000 in donations so far and hope to reach their fundraising target in a few months. Much of the thanks goes to Wallyhood readers who have generously donated, she says.
Amid the center’s crisis, the community really stepped forward, says Cromp. The Senior Center’s not out of the woods yet, though. One of their challenges now that the crisis stage has passed is encouraging the community to stay involved and proactive. “If you stretch it out too long, you lose momentum…It’s the attention span issue,” she says. “If we can’t reach this goal when we have this wonderful promise of a gift, then I think it really calls into question the ability to really go further,” says Cromp.
This month the center reintroduced their community lunch program, Community Café, as well as their Enhanced Fitness course. With a redesigned menu, the lunch program restarted Tuesday, April 6 and will continue every other week until May—when the center plans to switch to every Tuesday. Community Café is next scheduled for Tuesday, April 20.
QFC recently offered a helping hand to the lunch program with weekly meat and produce donations. While QFC makes daily food donations to FamilyWorks, the charity organization is closed on Mondays, so the Senior Center has stepped in. A QFC employee told Cromp that a lot of that food was just getting tossed. “We also know that we can’t use all of it,” Cromp says. The center has started sending some of the leftovers home with seniors and any remaining surplus over to FamilyWorks.
On Sunday, April 25 the center will host a “New Start” community pancake breakfast from 9am-12:30pm. “This is a window of opportunity that gives us a chance to rethink and go forward,” says Cromp. There’s a suggested donation of $5 for adults and $3 for children over five-years-old. As well as an effort to raise funds, the event will also provide an opportunity for the community to learn more about the center’s current status.