Updates and Announcements
Optimistic and Thankful
What a JOY it has been to welcome people back for meals and programs at The Thompson! With the high vaccination rate and low case rate in Vermont, we’re increasingly optimistic and looking forward to many more opportunities to be together for even more fun this summer. Our Summer Celebration and Welcome Back Reunion is planned for Friday, July 23rd and there is lots more happening throughout the month. We hope to see YOU!
Even as we celebrate this next phase and put a difficult year behind us, it’s impossible to move forward without recognizing the accomplishments of the past year and thanking the many people who made life better in our community.
We started the first “drive-up” full service restaurant in Woodstock! A hot meal, a puzzle, a roll of toilet paper – we had it curbside to pass through your window. Drive-in ice cream social and holiday lights show were fun, safe outings.
While our older volunteers were asked to take a break during the uncertain early days of the pandemic, multitudes of eager new volunteers joined us in a variety of capacities. We are so thankful to those who jumped forward to help and to those who have helped for many years.
In addition to curbside meals, Meals on Wheels more than doubled and became a “contactless” delivery system. We’re glad to be back to a more personal, but still safe, delivery system now.
We became a much needed delivery service of essentials like groceries, prescriptions and pharmacy incidentals for the homebound. THANK YOU to the volunteers and staff who took grocery orders, shopped, and delivered!
Daily phone check-in calls happened for over 200 days! Special thanks to Dwight Camp, Pam Butler, and Linda Grant for talk, talk, talking and keeping so many people connected.
Everyone Eats meals from Piecemeal Pies were picked up and delivered weekly (150 meals each week for many months!)
We updated and brightened our dining room with fresh paint, new carpet to help dampen the noise when we gather, and new tables and chairs that we had been raising funds for — it looks wonderful and we’re so thankful to all who donated for this special cause over the past two years!
Our Virtual Senior Center launched and we hosted hundreds of zoom and phone programs to help folks at home stay connected and entertained. Our phone bingo program was replicated all over the country!
Instead of our annual Winter Gala, we had to get creative with our fundraising through multiple events – a raffle and online zoom drawing, 2021 Sponsorships from many faithful supporters, and a Meals on Wheels fund drive in March.
So many people to thank and so many positive memories to reflect on, in spite of challenges. Thank you to ALL of the amazing volunteers, community partners, caring and dedicated Thompson staff, generous donors, engaged board members, and loving participants — we got each other through this year, and we’re forever grateful!
We are very excited to be able to host in-person small group gatherings at the Thompson beginning June 1st. With adherence to the Vermont Forward Guidelines from the Department of Health (below) and following guidance for Senior Centers, we will begin having programs outside under our tent and serving meals by reservation only and in small groups in the dining room.
We do require that anyone entering our building must sanitize hands and wear a mask inside when not eating or exercising. Here are our plans:
- All participants entering the building must wear masks, sanitize hands, then sign into My Senior Center at the Kiosk to complete the health screening before entering activities for the day.
- We will continue to serve Curbside lunches available for pickup at Noon, which can be taken home or eaten at our picnic tables on the front lawn or out back under the tent. We will provide plastic ware and water.
- In June, we can host up to 20 participants inside for lunch each day, by reservation only. We will have one volunteer wait staff, serving café-style in our dining room with more self-serve options and on a rolling schedule. The dining room is open for lunch between 11:45 am – 1:00 pm, Monday through Thursday. Fridays will be curbside/outside only.
- Reservations for all meals and programs must be made by 9 am the day of, or in advance. Please be sure to cancel if you aren’t going to be able to make a reservation for Curbside, Dining-in meals, or programs.
July will bring more opportunities to be together — please review Step 3 (June) of the Vermont Forward plan and help us all stay safe.
Communities of Strength
Every May, the Administration for Community Living leads our nation’s observance of Older Americans Month. The theme for 2021 is “Communities of Strength.”
Older adults have built resilience and strength over their lives through successes, failures, joys, and difficulties. Their stories and contributions help to support and inspire others. This OAM, we will celebrate the strength of older adults and the Aging Network, with special emphasis on the power of connection and engagement in building strong communities.
There are many things we all can do to nurture ourselves, reinforce our strength, and continue to thrive. Connecting with others is one of the most important—it plays a vital role in our health and well-being, and in that of our communities. From finding joy in small things and sharing our stories, to looking at the big picture and giving to others, join us in promoting the ways we are connected and strong. This month’s newsletter is packed full with ways to connect and find joy.
Thank you Volunteers
Enjoy a Tropical Day in April!
It’s one of our favorite times of the year – National Volunteer Appreciation in April!
Volunteers are an integral part of what we accomplish at The Thompson throughout the year. We treasure each and every person who gives of their time to deliver meals, fold newsletters, serve on a committee, make our gardens prettier, set tables, call bingo, give a ride, and more – all contributing to fulfill our mission of helping community members to age well.
To honor all of you – many serving currently and some temporarily on standby due to the pandemic – please join us for a Tropical Day in April on Tuesday, April 27, at 12:00 pm. All Thompson volunteers will be treated to a special complimentary and Caribbean-themed curbside lunch and a recognition gift. Grass skirts optional.
When state guidelines allow us to gather again at our Center, we plan to celebrate volunteers in a more traditional way with an ice cream social, live music, and raffle drawings. Something to look forward to!
The month of March mobilizes hundreds of local Meals on Wheels programs across the country to reach out to their communities and build the support that will enable them to serve America’s elder population all year long. As a member of the national organization, Meals on Wheels America, The Thompson participates in this annual celebration now in its 19th year. And, boy do we have a reason to celebrate!
In 2020, we delivered 12,296 Meals on Wheels (MOW) — a dramatic increase over the 9,808 meals delivered in 2019! From last March to July alone, we served 76 new MOW recipients! Volunteers for The Thompson currently deliver 40 meals each day (Monday through Friday) to older Vermonters throughout the towns of Woodstock, Bridgewater, Barnard, and Pomfret.
The highlights of our March for Meals events this year:
- Our 7th annual Thank You Walk – Instead of our traditional “march,” this year volunteers and staff will be assigned to deliver cookies and balloons to local businesses who support us.
- Community Champions week is March 22 -26th where town officials and local celebrities nationwide are asked to participate in meal deliveries and events.
- Monday, March 30th will be our annual MOW driver meeting providing an opportunity for a review of requirements/procedures, to share ideas, and to celebrate the wonderful work of our MOW volunteers!
- Special Thanks to the Woodstock Farmer’s Market for making our meals program the beneficiary of their “Round-Up” campaign!
- Watch for our Meals on Wheels column in the Vermont Standard and visit our Facebook page for videos and more.
Thompson Winter Gala Raffle
Having our traditional Winter Gala and Auction at The Woodstock Inn was impossible this year. We are so thankful to all who purchased raffle tickets and attended our fun online event on Valentine’s day. It was a great success! Thank you!!
We will continue our fundraising efforts this year to replace the annual Winter Gala and Auction in a different, virtual, and creative way! If you would like to know how to support Meals on Wheels during March for Meals, or as a 2021 Sponsor, please contact Deanna Jones, Executive Director, at (802) 457-3277 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Responding to COVID-19:
Thompson in the news – read more here: TheVermontStandard_4/16/2020
For more information and to register online
Age Well with The Thompson
Special events, fun exercise classes, interesting programs, tax assistance, free gently-used medical equipment, creative arts programs, and delicious meals are just a few of the things you’ll find at The Thompson Senior Center. Our building, staff, and volunteers provide a welcoming and fun environment for people of many ages and backgrounds to gather. But, we’re even more than what happens at The Thompson. We have the resources and experience to assist you where you want to be, at home.
One number to call for any need — Thompson staff and volunteers are happy to help with any question — from shower chairs to Medicare and everything in between.
Vetted Service Providers
We partner with a wide variety of businesses and individuals to bring you any service you need to AGE WELL at HOME!
We check references and only suggest businesses or individuals who have happily agreed to be an Aging at Home service provider.
Age Well Education Series and Outreach
Monthly educational talks are presented on topics ranging from legal planning, fall prevention, funeral planning options, Smart Driver safety course, nutrition and cooking, downsizing, hospital to home transitions, advance directives, and more.
Our Age Well e-newsletter is published every other month and provides readers with information on ways to age well at home and in their community through current and reliable information on health, lifestyle, diet, and resources. Call or email to sign-up.
We hope you’ll connect with us in the new year and find the inspiration, friendship, support, and fun to make the most out of 2020. Visit us in person, or online at www.thompsonseniorcenter.org, or contact us at (802) 457-3277 or email@example.com
September is recognized nationally as Senior Center month. This year’s theme was chosen to highlight how senior centers share knowledge, programming and resources that make a difference in people’s lives. These elements are the virtual keys to unlocking the potential to age well.
We now know the research and importance behind Connecting with others. Making friends matters. We know that Learning new languages and skills and exercising helps care for your body. That Giving back at the senior center and within the community fosters purpose and a more meaningful life. And that as long as each of us lives, we want to continue Growing to reach our full potential.
The Thompson Center has built a holistic experience where all of that is possible. Whether it is taking an exercise class, attending a social event, participating in memoir group or a painting class, or by having a meal or volunteering, The Thompson can be your key to aging well in our community.
Join us on September 13 at our noon meal as we celebrate National Senior Center month with Chicken BBQ, Potato Salad, Cole Slaw, Corn Bread, and Ice Cream with guest BBQ Chef, Nate Willard, and family. We’ll have raffles, music, horseshoes, cornhole and music with the Occasional Jug Band. RSVP at 457-3277.
Generation to Generation Week
August 5 – 8, 2019
Summer Matters! Older people have abundant skills and life experience to share. Younger people thrive with the support of caring adults in their lives. Join The Thompson for the 3rd annual Gen2Gen summer camp beginning on August 5, 2019. Click here for more information about The Thompson Gen2Gen activities.