Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

August 15, 2013

Paying Kindness Forward


Mineral Wells Index

— A couple in our community recently decided to celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary by giving to others.  On their special day they anonymously paid for everybody’s lunch at the Senior Center.

Several weeks later, a senior husband and wife said that they were inspired by the generosity of the young couple and decided to do the same thing in honor of their 60th wedding anniversary.  Again, they paid for the meals of everyone who ate at the center that day.

During the past week I experienced that kind of largesse myself.  Dirty and disheveled after helping my parents clean out a shed, my husband and I stopped at Subway to pick up sandwiches for supper.  When I started to pull out my wallet, the cashier said, “Your food is already taken care of.”  She pointed toward the parking lot and explained, “The lady driving away paid your bill.”

It’s an amazing feeling, that jolt of surprise and pleasure that shoots through you when you’re on the receiving end of an unexpected act of kindness.  In many cases, the recipient feels a desire to pass on the joy and give that kind of gift to someone else.  Smiles beget more smiles.

Sponsoring a senior meal is a great way to pay kindness forward.  Many of our center participants struggle to get by on low, fixed incomes.  For some, even the $3 suggested lunch donation is a stretch.  Being treated to a free meal is always a welcome blessing. 

Gift cards are available for purchase in our front office for just such sponsorship.

We are trying hard to keep the cost of our daily Senior Center hot lunches at $3.  At that rate we’re losing roughly $1.46 on every meal we serve.  Last month we served 907 meals, and the count was 902 in June.  

Throwing in some fixed expenses like insurance, phone/Internet service, and staff salaries, some unexpected expenses such as oven malfunctions, broken automatic doors and dying freezers, and considering that most of our programs and activities are free for adults over 50, that explains the Senior Center’s perpetual fundraisers.  We are continually looking for ways to generate money to sustain what we do.  Every penny that comes in is carefully documented, and we try to be frugal in our spending.  Anyone who decides to make a donation to the Senior Center can be sure the money will go straight to maintaining the services we provide to our senior adult community.  

There’s an important program on tomorrow’s schedule.  At 1 p.m., following our monthly fried catfish dinner, District Attorney Michael Burns will be sharing information on the latest scams aimed at defrauding older adults.  He will tell us how to recognize, report and protect ourselves against them.  Anyone is welcome to attend this free presentation.  

Our monthly Movie Night on Monday, Aug. 19, will feature the 1938 comedy “Bringing Up Baby,” starring Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn.  We’ll start serving the free soup and salad supper at 6 p.m.

On Saturday, Aug. 24, we’ll hold our last indoor yard sale of the year. 

Vendor tables are available at no charge to anyone over age 50.  If you’d like to bring in some items to sell, call us at 940-325-6470 or stop by the reception desk to reserve a table.  We’ll set up on the Friday afternoon before and be ready to sell from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday.  

Mark your calendars now for the 2013 Senior Expo coming up on Sept. 13.  This community health fair will run from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Again this year, we are grateful to First Baptist Church for allowing us to use their facilities to host the free health screenings, informative workshops and exhibitor tables.  Watch for more details in the next few weeks.

There are many ways to surprise people with kindness.  The Senior Center staff is always ready to help you bless our community’s older adults.  Please feel free to contact us with your questions or ideas.