Letter: Portsmouth Senior Center is integral part of the community

Posted 2/23/21

To the editor:

In 1980, a handful of senior residents of Portsmouth came together to establish a senior center in town. On Nov. 17, 1980, the first recorded meeting of this group was held. Shortly …

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Letter: Portsmouth Senior Center is integral part of the community

Posted

To the editor:

In 1980, a handful of senior residents of Portsmouth came together to establish a senior center in town. On Nov. 17, 1980, the first recorded meeting of this group was held. Shortly after this, they joined forces with R.I. Department of Elder Affairs, at the time and became the permanent meal site location for Portsmouth. 

Today, the center has over 800 members, operates with EBCAP, a nutritional program for seniors as well as disabled, serving lunches every day. During the last year alone, they served over 4,325 meals ensuring seniors and those in need received their meals during the pandemic.  

The Portsmouth Senior Center is more than just a social club — it serves the educational, nutritional, social and recreational needs of the seniors. 

Their fitness center is well utilized, with exercise programs and health seminars well attended. Through these activities the senior center brings awareness to the seniors for the need to maintain good physical and mental health. Volunteers of the center average over 12,000 hours a year supporting the center activities. Seniors from neighboring towns come for the very popular line dancing and chorus!

AARP, Child and Family Services, Visiting Nurse to name a few all provide valuable services and resources at the center for the seniors to utilize. Seniors of all economic circumstances are serviced. Seniors receive assistance with tax preparation, medical services, and transportation needs.

The majority of the center’s funding is generated through their own fund-raising efforts. The volunteers hold annual Yard Sale and Holiday Fair, as well as operate a Thrift Shop. Special events are held in connection with other organizations to help the center with their funding needs. Their fund-raising efforts like many others this past year due to COVID restrictions came to a halt. 

Closing the doors on the Portsmouth Senior Center will have a devastating impact on the quality of life for many seniors. The members rely on activities, friendships, socialization, medical assistance and most importantly meals. Portsmouth seniors deserve to be treated respectfully and with dignity!

Mary Ellen Martin

Friends of Portsmouth Senior Center

East Main Road

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