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RITA Hilker, President-Port Perry Seniors Club
Allow me to introduce you to a group of seniors who have made a difference in their community, and beyond, during Covid-19. They are members of the Port Perry Seniors Club, people who, now that the Club had shut down all activities, didn’t sit at home wondering what to do with all their free time. Instead, they asked how they could help during this unprecedented Covid pandemic. An illness no one knew how to cure or individuals, who fell ill with the disease, no one knew how to help. Health Department, specialists and scientists in the field of viruses had no idea how long we would have to contend with this pandemic running rampant, not only in our country, but worldwide. What did some members of the Port Perry Seniors Club do during this time? They helped family, friends, Scugog residents and beyond. How? By volunteering to sew masks, donating materials, offering to drive to pick and deliver materials and masks. They also combined their efforts with the Port Perry United Church Quilters, the Island Quilting Group and Port Perry Sews for a period of time. One organization alone could not keep up with the demand for masks. With the Townships permission, each Wednesday, they set up a pop up “store”, operated out of the car of the President of PPSC. But this store did not charge; all masks were given free and they were made with love. Literally thousands of masks, comfort bands and medical hats were given to community members and groups. Other hamlets in Scugog were also served by this pop-up “store”. Seniors have acquired wisdom. They were told they were the highest risk group, stay at home, wash your hands, wear a mask, and they did that, along with many other residents. As of July 10th, the Region of Durham has recognized the necessity for mandatory face coverings during this pandemic when indoors, and outdoors, if the two-metre distancing is difficult to maintain. Canada has done so well, compared to other countries, and should continue to do so by following Health Department guidelines. Port Perry Seniors Club’s next project was to send cheery message cards to residents of the two Long Term Care (LTC) facilities in town, Port Perry Place and Westshore Village. Senior Club members are proud of how the Port Perry’s LTC homes handled this crisis; they immediately closed their doors and only allowed entry to staff and medical personnel. Congratulations, you’re doing a great job. Some residents don’t know what is happening in the world, they just know that nobody is visiting. They’re isolated for their own health, but family means so, so much to these residents. Hence, a call was put out to members of the Port Perry Seniors Club to take some time and write a note, to let these people know they are loved and not forgotten. Once again Seniors Club members volunteered. Members of the Kuiper’s Kreative Divas volunteered to hand make and donate cards for the 179 residents and they are gorgeous. Thank you. A grand old lady, Queen Elizabeth II, said in a rare televised speech to the nation, calling for unity during the coronavirus crisis, “I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge.” The Port Perry Seniors Club volunteers can be very proud!