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CONNECTIONS VOLUNTEER CENTER 39 W WINTER STREET DELAWARE, OH 43015 (740) 363-5000

Senior NewsNotes

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Bloom Where You’re Planted!

INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

When I first moved to the country, a wonderful neighboring family took my inexperienced husband and myself and taught us how to garden. They gave us a plot of land, the right tools, and began giving us detailed instructions on how to till the soil for a bountiful harvest. I remember vividly, Albert, getting down on his knees in the garden and showing us how to fertilize the soil and place each seed in the garden with precise accuracy. I never knew how much planning and effort it took to have a good garden, but with his intricate instructions, regular watering, and plenty of sunshine our garden surpassed all of our expectations. Little did I know it at the time, but that summer I learned a life lesson. .. Learn from the best, work hard, and many times what you reap is so much more than what you sow.

Bloom Where Planted……...P. 1 Friendship Book Club……..P. 2 Fundraiser……………....….P. 3 Thanks for the Memories… P. 3 Spring Fun………..…...….. P. 4 Puzzle Solution……...….…. P. 4 Volunteer Spotlight …….…P. 5

“So what does this have to do with me?” you ask. Metaphorically speaking, each of us has a garden to plant and a harvest to enjoy. Each of us has a talent or skills that should be developed and passed on to the next generation. We all have something that can be used to make this world a more beautiful and bountiful place for those that follow. “What can I do?” you ask. Anything! Share your knowledge with a young child, paint then share your artwork with the community, plant a garden and donate extra veggies to the local food pantry. Teach a child to swim, share a smile with your neighbor...what ever you do, nurture it with love and I guarantee what you reap will be plentiful.

Spring Cleaning..…………. P. 6 Cooks Corner …………….. P. 7 Strawberry Facts…………. P. 7 Puzzle……………....……… P. 8

If you are looking for a more organized way to give back, call Connections Volunteer Center @ (740)3635000. Their staff can direct you to any one of their partnering 121 non-profit agencies. Help with a special event, a one-time need, or commit to a long term opportunity. You will be surprised how much you benefit from giving of your time. Your garden will bloom and it’s fragrance will permeate the community. Seeds will spread and before you know it, others will be asking for your expertise on how to plant a garden of their own. “The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.” Gertrude Jekyll


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Friendship Book Club “Meet Your Pen Pal Party” Thursday, May 10, 2012 1pm-3:15pm Buckeye Valley Elementary West 61 North Third Street Ostrander, OH 43061

For the fifth year, seniors from throughout Delaware County have been partnered with 5th grade students in a pen pal program called “Friendship Book Club.” This year sixty-one seniors are sharing their time as they discuss a book penned by Ohio authors and chosen by Buckeye Valley West Elementary students. For the safety of the students and the program, all participants were required to complete a state background check before beginning the program. Once completed, students were matched with a pen pal, books were as- Fifth grade student corresponding with his signed and the letter exchanges began. This unique program is a re- senior pen pal. sult of the collaboration of Lisa Rose, Buckeye Valley West fifth grade language arts teacher, Senior Citizens, Inc., Delaware County District Library, and Connections Volunteer Center. Margie West of Connections says, “This program not only encourages reading and the development of writing and problem solving skills but it touches on life history and social skills of our future leaders.” Senior pen pal, Terry Holly, remarked that she enjoys the program and looks forward to getting her letters. She feels that this program gives older people an opportunity to stay in touch with the younger generation and share what they think is important and their life long experiences. She has enjoyed reading and knowing what is currently being read by our young readers. West said, “Matching the pen pals is completely random, but each year it is amazing to hear how similar interests and experiences surface among our pen pals. Some of our pen pals have remained in contact with one another years after they have completed the program. Rose comPen Pal, Terry Holly mented on how this program has been perceived at the school and is one of the highlights of the fifth grade. Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart. - Eleanor Roosevelt


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Connections would like to thank all those who supported our recent Italian Dinner fundraiser. Nearly $2,000 were raised to help support our local volunteer center. Olive Garden did a superb job in providing the dinner as well as volunteers to cook and serve the meal. We would also like to thank Ginya Cakes, Country Blessings, All Occasions Catering, Sam’s Club, and Walmart for their donations. Along with the delicious meal, participants enjoyed the wonderful sounds of Walt Abood on the piano which added just the right mood to the evening. We hope this will be an annual event!

Several Olive Garden volunteers waiting to serve nearly 200 supporters of Connections Volunteer Center.

Thanks for the Memories! It’s been five wonderful years since I joined Connections Volunteer Center as the Senior Leadership Coordinator. Five years of getting to know each member of the Delaware County senior clubs, working with our amazing non-profit agencies, and endless opportunities of planning volunteer activities and events for the compassionate volunteers within our community. I have learned more from those of you whom I’ve worked with, gained more insight into the community, and found a new appreciation for what our agencies have to offer, not only for our senior population, but for the entire community. The generous outpouring of love and compassion I have witnessed from our residents has filled me with a personal desire to do more, give more, be more. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift.” Serving this community and experiencing the outpouring of your love through your volunteerism has provided me with an endless gift that I will forever cherish. Seeing what you do each and every day to assist those in need is truly remarkable. Because of the way you open your hearts for the sake of others, tomorrow is definitely not a mystery. Tomorrow, is filled with hope and joy. As I enter retirement, a new phase in my life, I can only pray that you will continue to inspire those young and old to reach out and make a difference. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with and give back to a loving community. Your respect and empathy for your fellow man has been amazing, and I am so glad to have shared it with you these last 5 years. Keep up the good work! I’ll be watching you...and yes,….. Thanks for the Memories! In Service to Delaware County,

Margie West


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Spring Fun April 15— Osprey Homecoming 1-4 Hogback Ridge Preserve, 2656 Hogback Road, Sunbury, OH 43074 April 15-May 26— Delaware Artist Guild Exhibit Delaware Arts Castle, 190 W Winter Street, Delaware, OH 43015 May 4— Wetlands Workshop 9am-3:30pm Deer Haven Preserve, 4183 Liberty Road, Delaware, OH 43015 May 4— Cinco de Mayo—First Fridays Downtown Delaware May 5— Central Ohio Symphony Concert Gray Chapel, Ohio Wesleyan Campus, Delaware, OH 43015 May 12— Senior Prom from 5-9pm. Senior Citizens, Inc. 800 Cheshire Road, Delaware, OH 43015. Presale tickets only. May 19 & 20—Delaware Arts Festival downtown Delaware, Ohio. Saturday 10 am to 6 pm; Sunday 10 am to 5 pm. June 15—Summer Festival Center for Older Adults, 800 Cheshire Road, Delaware, OH 43015 3-8pm. Free Admission and Parking. Volunteers are needed.

A volunteer is someone who gives one’s time, energy, and talents to others while expecting nothing in return. Volunteers have an open mind and are willing to embrace wisdom learned from others and share their experience and knowledge for the betterment of our community. Volunteering leads these special individuals to personal inner growth as they understand the importance of giving to others and extending kindness. Volunteers have a wide range of opportunities to give back and make a difference in our community. By volunteering within an organization for which they have a passion or can fill a need, they find flexibility and freedom that they don’t find as an employee. Volunteers are dedicated to a cause, embrace a network of people sharing that cause or interest, remain active, and promote a positive impact on one’s community. Connections would like to thank all volunteers who choose to improve lives of others by giving of themselves. Your gift radically changes and improves Delaware County. Thank you for serving! If you would like to volunteer, but need help finding an opportunity, please call your local volunteer center, Connections at 740-363-5000. They can help you find the perfect fit and get you started on a new life experience.

There are many wonderful things that will never be done if you don't do them. -Charles D. Gill

Answer to Puzzle page 8 305 Curtis Street Delaware, OH 43015

June 30, 2012 8 am - 4 pm

Come Early for Best Selection Annuals, Perennials, Shrubs, Trees All plants come from local greenhouse!

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VOLUNTEERS GIVE COMMUNITY OVER 2,000 HOURS OF SERVICE Delaware County was once again fortunate to offer the free AARP/Tax-Aide Program income tax assistance to our community residents. This year marks the 14th year of service; and this year it was provided at four locations in Delaware County (the Andrews House, Dublin Community Center, Senior Citizens, Inc., and the Westerville Senior Center.) The program focuses on individuals 60 years of age and older. Tax assistants go through a very rigorous IRS training during the months of December and January and must pass a series of tests to become a certified tax volunteer. This year 25-30volunteers gave over 2,000 hours of service to Delaware County by assisting 1,800-2,000 individuals/couples with their returns. Glenn McAtee, tax counselor, stated that he was following in his mother’s footsteps as she volunteered for this program for over 20 years. “It gives me an opportunity to help others by making their path a little easier,” he said. He also remarked how rewarding it was to meet people from all walks of life. Coordinator, Phil Packard, said what he likes about the program is that seniors don’t have to spend $100-$300 to get an accurate tax return completed; and they can keep that money in their own pocket. This year was the first year for counselor, Gene Martini. “I’ve always been interested in taxes and being a volunteer gives me the opportunity to meet more people within the community. It makes me feel good when I am able to help a client and 75% of the people I assist leave with a smile on their face.” When talking to a client, she mentioned that this is a valuable service which she has taken advantage of for the last two years. “My husband always prepared our taxes and when he died it was just too overwhelming. I am very impressed and satisfied with these volunteers and the job they do. They know what they’re doing and are very hard workers,” she said. Many clients also appreciate having the service located in various places throughout the county as driving in unfamiliar territory is sometimes very difficult. It is a program that is free, convenient, and thorough! All those taking advantage of this program would like to thank these tireless individuals who give of their time and talents to help with this very stressful task, who greet their clients with a smile, and enables those using the service to leave with a sense of relief and the knowledge of a job well done.

Clients, Mr. & Mrs. Frank Gibson with Program Coordinator, Phil Packard


Time for a Little Spring Cleaning ! Spring is just around the corner and it’s time when most of us think about “Spring Cleaning.” Not only can we take this time to get more organized, but we can downsize the clutter in our homes and make living more efficient and carefree at the same time. Wardrobe Spring is a great time to reorganize your wardrobe, particularly when you are swapping your winter clothes for your warm spring and summer essentials. Take a good look at the your closet. Most of us wear 20% of our clothes, 80% of the time. So this is a good time to donate items you have rarely used over the previous season. If you are looking for a source of income, take the higher end items to a consignment shop, list them online, or consider having a garage sale. Wallet Some of you have gift cards, coupons and receipts stuffed inside your wallet making it difficult to close. Make a conscious decision to use the gift cards as soon as possible. If you don’t want them, consider donating them to a local non-profit or family in need. Important receipts should be filed away, other should be shredded. Remove expired coupons from your wallet and organize the remaining coupons by date. You will be more likely to use them if you can find them when checking out at the store. Bookshelf Swap, sell or donate used books. Check with your local library. They may take used books to sell to cover special event expenses. If you want to reduce clutter, think about investing in an e-reader. By using some free sites, you may never have to spend money on a new read. Linen Closet Sort through your towels and linens. If you have changed your color scheme, donate any you will not use. Worn towels can be used for rags. If you haven’t used your bed linens the last 6 months, chances are you don’t need them. Purge! Pantry Take an innovative approach to cleaning out your pantry by using the items. Check the expiration date. Providing the food will be good for a few extra months, consider donating unwanted items to the local food pantry. Organize the food by category—the accessibility will make food preparation easier and more enjoyable. Home Goods Look in your attic, garage, and closets. If you have a lot of unused home décor, accessories and furniture in your house; it is time for a yard sale. Plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to organize and price the items. If this is too much work, consider donating to a non profit agency. Some agencies will actually come to your home and pick up the items. Make sure you get a receipt to provide you with a tax deduction at the end of the year. Filling cabinets Sift through your filing cabinet and recycle or shred unnecessary documents. Create a digital file of important documents if possible. These are just a few simple steps to get you on the right track. Taking a few days to complete these tasks can give you a sense of accomplishment. Most importantly, reducing clutter from your home can give you the sense of serenity.

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Crockpot Chocolate Fondue Amanda@momswithcrockpots.com

Cook’s Corner

Ingredients •

18 oz. Semisweet chocolate, chopped

1 oz. Unsweetened chocolate, chopped

6 oz. Milk chocolate, chopped

13 oz. Can evaporated milk

1/4 Cup powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

Fruit, cookies, and cake pieces for dipping

Directions: •

Combine all chocolates, milk, and powdered sugar in 3 qt. Crockpot

Cover and cook on low for 45 minutes

Stir well, add vanilla, stir again, and continue cooking if necessary to completely melt chocolate. This can be held on low for another hour.

Serve with dippers

Think of unusual dippers to use — marshmallows, candy bars, and cookies would be delicious

Botanists do not classify strawberries as an official berry. Berries have seeds inside, strawberries have over 200 tiny seeds on their outside.

Strawberries help reduce the risk of cancer or heart disease and a mixture of strawberry juice and honey relieves sunburn (wash it off with water and lemon juice).

Select plump, firm, red berries. Smaller red strawberries have the most flavor.

Unripe berries (green or white) will not ripen after they are picked.

It takes only three days for a berry to turn from green to white to red.

One cup of strawberries is equal to 44 calories.

It usually takes 10-15 minutes to pick a quart of strawberries. All strawberries are picked by hand.

The state of California produces 83% of all strawberries grown in the US.


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W N Z U C C H I N I B C G U Y G

S O T K C Q F T O C W Q S C F R

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Asparagus Beans Beets Broccoli Cabbage Carrots Corn Edamame

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Green pepper Iceberg lettuce Onion Peas Summer squash Turnips Zucchini

Our Food Pantry has been assisting Delaware County for over 27 years! There is no age or race discrimination in hunger. Young and old seek help with food and taxables from the People In Need (PIN) Food Pantry. Nutritious food packages are provided up to five times per year, per household. Each food package is selected and packed with care and precision by trained volunteers. The following is a list of most needed items in the PIN Food Pantry. Please contact the Pantry Staff at (740) 363-6284 if you have any questions or need to make an appointment for food. FOOD & TAXABLE ITEM MOST NEEDED FOR THE FOOD PANTRY Bar Soap** Canned Fruit Canned Vegetables Coffee - instant/perked Dish Soap** Hot Chocolate - instant/mix Kleenex Muffin Mixes Paper Towels** Pudding Mixes Shaving Cream** Sugar Tissues** Toothpaste**

Boxed Dinners Canned Fruit Juices Canned Pasta Cooking oil/shortening Dry Milk Jell-O Laundry Detergent** Noodles/Macaroni Peanut Butter Saltine & Graham Crackers Spaghetti Sauce Syrup Toilet Paper**

**These items are not available with Food Stamps.

Cake and Frosting Mixes Canned Meats/Fish Cereal - cooked/dry Diapers/Wipes** Feminine Hygiene Products Jelly Macaroni & Cheese Pancake Mix (complete) Potatoes - boxed/instant Shampoo** Soup Tea Bags Toothbrushes**

Spring Senior News Notes  

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