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Giving back takes center stage in Johnson County

Senior Center members enjoy a painting class at the Center for the Arts with instructor Cristy Dunn. Photo submitted

Submitted by
Meg Dickens


The Johnson County Senior Center and surrounding organizations focus on giving back to the communities they serve. Although this is normal for nonprofits near and far, the Christmas season has most people offering a little extra charity. In this spirit, the center has been working with several partners on various outreach projects.
These projects involve donated or created items that are brought together then distributed. By reaching out to these parties who are in need, participants remind them that they are still on someone’s mind and still important despite any feelings that say otherwise. That is a big part of outreach programs’ goals
One example of the outreach programs locally is the Chicks with Sticks’ hats and scarves, handmade by club members for local children in need. At last count, the group had distributed 57 and planned to make many more. Anyone who would like to donate new or like-new yarn can do so at the center.
The most popular form of outreach has been gift bags. Several entities put together bags, including the ETSU local clinic, Ms. Tammy Trivett’s class at JCMS, the center, and local crafts maestro Kay Richardson. These goody bags hold everything from food to specialty cards made by other seniors or middle school students.
Although several groups focused on seniors in general, the center took a few extra steps to put homebound seniors in the spotlight. Several of the mentioned goody bags were delivered to homebound seniors and shared with members at the facility. Those who made the bags incorporated arts and crafts to make them more personal.
For example, seniors have been coloring cards and pages to send to homebound seniors. The middle school kids also created homemade cards for their bags. The bags Richardson made are entirely custom snowmen treats she crafted herself.
The Johnson County Senior Center is a nonprofit organization serving those ages 60 and older. For more information on its programs, resources, events, upcoming trips, and ways to help, visit or call (423) 727-8883.