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Can I make a difference in someone else's life by sharing my time with them? What does it take to be kind to another? Can I give back to someone that I don't even know? These questions and others we all face as our community members age. A new Zimmerman group has tackled these questions head-on and asks for you to join them to make a difference in the lives of seniors.
Geri Halgrimson has done volunteer work for many years. She liked it and was involved in various activities when her family members needed extra care. She has known local resident Penny Hanson all of her life and one day was asked, “What are you doing these days? Why don't you come and make lefse with us.” After doing so she found out that they don’t get many activities to do, “If we want activities, we need to go to Elk River to participate.” She knew some of them couldn't drive, which made her feel sad. She assumed things were happening in their lives…and that they had something to do each day. It was time to put her thinking cap on. Angela and others from the Woodlands Bank in Zimmerman were there and said “Geri, what are you thinking? I see your wheels turning…whatever it is, we are on board with it!” It was with that, Sharing a Senior Moment was born. But they were going to need help.
Angela and Geri started by going to area businesses, as many as they could, explaining what they wanted to do for the seniors in town, asking for contributions for the new idea of a event and dinner for all that could participate right here in Zimmerman. The American Legion and the Fire Department donated $500 each to kick off the new monthly event which started with a baseball themed day during the Minnesota Twins opener. ‘Take me out to the ball park’ and other songs were sung as John volunteered to cook hot dogs fitting of any baseball game one could ever attend. 24 residents were in attendance that first event and it was well received. The “lefse had sparked” their idea and it was off and running. Since the beginning, other businesses have come on board to support, including Nelson Nursery and others. Now over 36 residents attend the monthly event; out of the 50 people who live in the building, that is a great turn out.
Geri says, "They always tell us how much they appreciate it, but I remind them every time that we're not blessing them it’s you who are blessing us, because when we go home at night the good Lord will say you did a good thing today.” It's not about what they do, but an effort to inspire others to take care of one another and to assist groups that help. That is the real reason. Upcoming ideas they are considering are Friday night pizza parties or even outdoor summer concerts for the residents to enjoy right on the property.
For more information on Volunteering at our Zimmerman location please call 763-241-4430.