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Our View: Serving our seniors

The Union Editorial Board

Food for thought

The Union Editorial Board is saddened by the news of this year’s cancellation of the Nevada County Fair. It plans on addressing the issue in next week’s editorial, and encourages readers to send their thoughts about the cancellation to EditBoard@TheUnion.com

There’s a senior center about an hour’s drive from here that regularly advertises its cribbage games.

It’s a simple card game once you get the gist of it. You can play it anywhere. A community center isn’t necessary for anyone to pull out a deck of cards and cribbage board, and get a game going.

But a senior center — like the one planned by Gold Country Senior Services — is more than just a building where folks gather to play cards.

The Grass Valley center, at 231 Colfax Ave., will be a hub for the organization’s mission. Here it can hold all its programs under one roof. Senior Firewood and Meals on Wheels are essential services for many of our older Nevada County residents.

The creation of a physical senior center is a boon for our community — a one-stop shop where we all can get dealt in to services.

Sure, this facility will be a “senior center,” but that doesn’t mean there’s a barrier on the door for anyone younger than 65. This center will need volunteers. People to deliver food and others to take firewood.

And maybe, if we’re lucky, a few to play a few cribbage hands.

Many of us might not know the number of people Gold Country Senior Services helps.

Once, the Meals on Wheels program asked its clients if they had a flashlight, just in case. Over 100 of them didn’t. A grant enabled the program to buy bags for its clients filled with personal items. Among them were flashlights.

Or there’s the time when Gold Country realized over 300 of its clients considered the organization their “emergency contact.” It’s unknown whether they didn’t understand the question, or had no one else to list.

Regardless, you can see how important this nonprofit — as a brick-and-mortar senior center — is to this community.

Like any organization, it’s only as good as the people who compose it. The new senior center is nothing more than a husk without the people that fill it.

And that’s where you come in.

Janeth Marroletti, executive director of Gold Country Senior Services, has done a great job. She’s steering the ship, but she can’t do it alone. The programs offered by the nonprofit need people like you. People who can give their time and money. People who can load and unload cords of firewood. People who can deliver meals to those who need them most.

Marroletti said she wants classes and activities at the center, but ensuring people are fed is her first priority. It’s a daunting task that must start somewhere.

And that somewhere is a senior center.

This physical building is more than bricks and wood, plumbing and insulation, a roof and doors and windows. When it’s filled with the people and programs that comprise the senior center, it will come alive. It’ll be a central hub for all the movements and machinery that have for too long been spread across different sites in our county.

Brought together, the nonprofit — and our community — will be that much stronger.

Current plans call for the center to open by year’s end. We encourage you to follow news of the center in The Union and at http://www.goldcountryservices.org. You can also find information about how to volunteer at its website.

Our community is better and stronger with a senior center. Its programs will continue to help those who need them, while its volunteers will make its goals become reality.

Looking at our community, at its generosity and passion, there’s no mistake about the outcome.

Success is in the cards.

The weekly Our View editorial represents the consensus opinion of The Union Editorial Board, a group of editors and writers from The Union, as well as informed community members. Contact the board at EditBoard@TheUnion.com.


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