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Our volunteers make the difference

Volunteers are the foundation of The Den’s Senior Services programs — they keep us keepin’ on.

Most are retired, which I sometimes think is a busier life than those of us who work lead. Some are still working.

Over 40 volunteers serve our programs — nurses, ministers, hairdressers, private business owners and homemakers — wide range of individuals who all have one thing in common: they care about others and are able to give of their time.

We always need an extra hand in our dining room; those hands come from several individuals who pop in to sanitize and set the tables, then add the final touch with the vases of flowers.

Then there’s the cleanup crew whose members reverse the order of the first set of extra hands.

Other individuals scrub, cut and chop to assist the staff in the kitchen to get the meal ready to serve on time.

Arriving just before 11 a.m., volunteers are ready to go for two separate routes of home-delivered meals.

They deliver meals to the homebound, say hello and lend an ear; they are my staff’s eyes and ears. Some days, we need to add a little extra love with the services we provide and make referrals for our people. It is our duty to help these individuals remain as independent as possible.

We even have an occasional flower fairy. This individual sends flowers to our homebound, so they, too, can enjoy the seasons of the year.

Arboles has a meal program that is almost completely run by volunteers. Volunteers from Pagosa Springs pick up the food from our kitchen and make the trek to Arboles. Once there, they help serve, along with a few other generous folks who also don their visors and gloves to get the job done. Still others drive to Arboles from Pagosa to assist staff in the setup and cleanup, while the majority are from Arboles and clean up by washing dishes, toting garbage and setting the room back to its original state.

Our programs are more than a meal; we strive to help others remain as independent as possible while aging in their own homes and communities. Without our volunteers, these programs would not be possible.

We honor our volunteers as they plant the seeds of kindness. Thank you, you mean the world to us.

Special events

“Carrier” — Filmed during a six-month deployment to the Persian Gulf in support of ground troops, this in-depth documentary takes an insider’s tour of the?U.S.S. Nimitz, one of America’s most storied aircraft carriers. Strong language. Episode 7 and 8, Monday, April 23, at 1 p.m. Final episodes, 9 and 10, Monday, April 30, at 1 p.m.

Senior Choice Voting Day, Wednesday April 25, noonish. Vote for your favorite meal choice for June-September menus. Last time around, you voted for chicken fried steak, corned beef and swiss sandwich, fajitas and my personal not favorite, liver and onions. Be here the 25th to vote for your favorite.

Forks over knives

Join us for a free showing of “Forks Over Knives” at 1 p.m. on Friday, April 27. Dr. Oz said, “I loved it and I need all of you to see it.” And Roger Ebert has said, “This is a film that could change your life.” Tess Challis?(local author, healthy chef and wellness expert) will give a brief introduction to the film, and will also be available for a Q & A to follow. You don’t want to miss this free, fun and life-changing event.

I recently watched this movie and, yep, we kid you not when we say “life-changing.” Please join us for a discussion after the film on how we can make small changes in our personal lives and even right here at The Den.


Come on in to The Den and check out our library. We have quite the collection of books, including some large print, as well as books on tape/CD, videos, DVDs and audio tapes for you to borrow.

At your service

Not driving anymore? Car in the shop? Get to where you need to go; door-to-door bus service available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday to seniors age 60-plus. Suggested donation $2 per day. Come hang out with us and enjoy our company. Call for details, 264-2167.

Delivered to your door

Are you struggling to get meals prepared because you are homebound, recovering from surgery or an illness? Let us do the cooking. Enjoy Senior Center meals delivered to your door. Our hot meal home-delivery program is available to those living closer to town four days per week, with frozen meals for Thursdays and weekends. Those living farther out of town may be eligible for the frozen meal program. Meals are available to people age 60-plus for a suggested donation of $3 per meal. Give us a call at 264-2167 for further information. Donations are greatly appreciated.?

Activities at The Den

Friday, April 20 — 10 a.m. Stitchin’ in the Kitchen; 12:30 p.m. Gym Walk.

Monday, April 23 — 12:30 p.m. Gym Walk; 1 p.m. Canasta; 1 p.m. “Carrier” (episodes 7 and 8).

Tuesday, April 24 — 12:30 p.m. Gym Walk; 1 p.m. Meditation for Healing.

Wednesday, April 25 — 11 a.m. blood pressure checks; noon, Senior Choice Voting; 1 p.m. Grief Education Support Group.

Thursday, April 26 — Closed.

Friday, April 27 — 10 a.m. Stitchin’ in the Kitchen; 10:30 a.m. Book Club; 12:30 p.m. Gym Walk; 1 p.m. free movie and popcorn.

This week’s menu:

Suggested donation for older adults age 60-plus is $3, guests $6, kids 12 and under $3. Our meal program is partially funded through the Older Americans Act via the San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging, United Way, Archuleta County, Town of Pagosa Springs and other donations and grants. These funds help support the cost of the meal which is approximately $11.51. Please note our menu is subject to change. The salad bar opens at 11:30 a.m. with lunch served from noon to 12:30 p.m.

Friday, April 20 — Tuna salad wrap, tomato soup, whole grain tortilla, lettuce and tomato, hard boiled egg, ambrosia fruit salad.

Monday, April 23 — Whole wheat spaghetti with meat sauce, tossed salad, seasoned green beans, breadstick, peaches.

Tuesday, April 24 — Whole wheat French toast, turkey ham, potato broccoli frittata, orange wedges.

Wednesday, April 25 — Lemon baked tilapia, oven-browned potatoes, peas and carrots, coleslaw, bran muffin, banana, rainbow sherbet.

Thursday, April 26 — Closed for administrative day.

Friday, April 27 — Roast turkey with gravy, cornbread stuffing, cauliflower-broccoli mix, raisin-nut cup, spinach mandarin salad, applesauce birthday cake.

Arboles meal program

Lunches are served in Arboles on the first and third Thursdays of each month, weather permitting, in the basement of the Catholic Church. Reservations are required the Monday preceding. The suggested donation is $3 for age 60-plus. Call 264-2167 for more information or to make a reservation.

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