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Gearing up for another winter, the Twin Falls Senior Center is always accepting volunteers

Posted at 5:50 PM, Oct 30, 2023

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — November is just around the corner, and there are a lot of Idaho organizations ramping up efforts to meet needs for food and services.

Warren Henton is at the Twin Falls Senior Center every day. A senior himself, Henton goes by “Shorty,” and he donates a good amount of time to the center prepping the salad bar, and setting up for bingo three days a week. He said his favorite parts of the senior center were the parts he helped out with.

“What do I like about it? well, the bingo, and salad bar that I do and the whole bit and everything like that,” Henton told Idaho News 6.

With only a handful of paid employees, volunteers like Henton are a major part of what keeps the center running

According to Board President Stephen Belt, one of the center’s biggest needs this upcoming winter is for people to spend time helping to break up boredom and keep seniors connected.

“We do 155 meals a day to people who aren’t able to drive, and these people get lonely,” Belt told Idaho News 6. “And when it gets cold it gets worse. And when it gets that way, we need added expertise to get people out to visit with them and keep some of that loneliness to a minimum.”

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the center averaged 90 meals a day. But after the shutdown, many seniors have been slow to return to the center. To try and get people to come back in the larger pre-pandemic numbers, the center has been adding activities and amenities, like a new pool table, card games, and car shows.

Just this past weekend, the center held a harvest festival with a Halloween theme, and an estimated 300 people stopped through.

“We stay really, really busy trying to generate new ideas and maybe get new people coming in,” Belt said.

The center receives a lot of food donations from local businesses, but one thing they always have room for is more volunteers and more financial contributions.

“Comes the season where people start thinking about where they can put money that they don’t have to pay out in taxes, think of us,” Belt said. “We could use the money. Everything we do is nonprofit, every dollar that we put out goes in some good for our elderly”

The Twin Falls Senior Center’s Facebook page has the most up-to-date information on how to get in touch. Once there, you’ll also find a schedule of events and ways to give.