Christmas is a busy time at the Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors, with gifts being shared, turkeys being cooked and our choir getting ready to perform for us. Our Christmas dinners will be topped off with flaming pudding served by the Creston Valley Rotary Club gentlemen. A group of grade 9 and 10 students from Prince Charles Secondary School hosted an evening turkey dinner Dec. 13. These young people are most welcome as they share not only the meal but also their youth, energy and happiness with us each year.
TAPS seniors and their friends have been busy giving back to their community at this time of sharing. With donations of yarn they have made 65 blankets and shawls that have been shared with the Creston Ministerial Association for Christmas hampers, Kootenai Community Centre Society, Crest View Village and Swan Valley Lodge. TAPS members Anne and Marie have also made scarves and toques to be put in the hampers.
Being productive members of their community has allowed our seniors to share their vast experiences, knowledge and skills. It has also given them a great deal of pleasure. They are used to giving. We are now volunteers for Gleaners, as well as recipients of their generosity. While one of our ladies was ripping fabric for rags for the Gleaners, she commented, “I can’t die now. I have a job to do.” She is 91 years old.
TAPS seniors and staff depend on our volunteers. Our organization wouldn’t be able to continue its valuable mission without these generous people. Barry, Judy and Kathleen teach Tai Chi and yoga every week to keep us healthy. Shelagh and Irene help with our walking program. Nicole and Ron run our wellness clinics, and Jim keeps our busses on the road.
Ann and Tanya host the weekly book club, and Larry is our choirmaster. Katie makes a birthday cake each month, and Mabel, Carol, Emily, Dollie and Jill hold pie making days. Anne and Annameike help with knitting projects, and Bunny and her friends teach ceramics. Colleen helps our seniors make tray decorations for Meals on Wheels, and Alex and Terje keep our building together.
Christine, Marleyne, Mary, Peter and Phil write the Voice of Experience column in the Advance for us, and Bonnie does our complicated computer work. All of these jobs use the skills and patience of people who care about others.
Claudette, Gida, Carol, Eva Marie, Stuart, Jim and Shirley, Sharon, Muriel, Sheila, Lynette and Esther share something special with us, too. They are the people who set tables and wash dishes, peel potatoes and mop floors, tell and listen to stories and give and receive hugs. The gifts of their time and love are a vital part of what TAPS is.
We want to thank the men who built our raised gardens and Kuya, who organized volunteers and hosted a fun singalong. Janeen’s yearly garden party is a tradition we look forward to. Thank you, Janeen.
We hope that the Krafty Kronys know how much they mean to us and how much we depend on them. They not only buy our buses and pie freezers, but they show up whenever we put out a call for help.
I might have missed naming a volunteer or two, so please forgive me. You know how your contribution makes a difference.
So, volunteers, partners, friends and family members, thank you from the staff and seniors at TAPS. We couldn’t do it without you.
We wish you all a wonderful holiday season and all the best in 2012!
Terry Nowak is an outreach worker with the Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors.