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Message from the Executive Director

Winter brings to mind the comfort of good food shared over a table with family and friends, a walk in the crisp cold air and the blast of warm air as you come inside, and gratitude for being able to experience it one more time.

These past 20 months have reinforced my gratitude for the small things which make the day a bit brighter and the big things that make the world a bit kinder. The Senior Meals and Meals on Wheels continue to fill over 800 of our neighbor’s stomachs each day with a hot, healthy, delicious meal like the Southwestern Bowl (pg 2). While the Fall Prevention Team, including Maria (pg 5), continues to keep seniors moving and the Energy Team brings the gift of power and warmth (pg 3).

The most important part is the connection to others that happens every day. There is nothing I’m more grateful for than the experience of sharing life with others and watching our seniors connect with each other.

As you enter the holiday season and new year, what connections and parts of life are you grateful for? What would you miss if it wasn’t here any more? What action will you take to make the day a bit brighter and the world a bit kinder?

 

Can you picture what it must feel like to no longer have the ability to shop for groceries and stand long enough to prepare a meal? Can you imagine how the holidays feel for seniors who are isolated, perhaps having lost their spouse or experienced their children moving far away?

As 2021 comes to an end, I would like to take a moment to thank you for all your participation, volunteer hours and financial support, which enabled us to enhance the lives of those who rely on us. As the holiday season approaches, the Spectrum seniors remind me that aging is the one thing we all have in common. All of our seniors share a common hope to live independently in their homes for as long as possible.

As Thanksgiving approaches, we are reminded to count our blessings and remember all that we have to be thankful for. But for many seniors, Thanksgiving and the following holiday season can be a difficult time.

Seniors, like Gloria, often feel lonely and are reminded of people they may have lost in the past. The lack of family gatherings, an inability to shop or prepare food, or the feeling that they cannot fully participate in holiday functions can lead to depression and isolation.

 

Last year, over 600 seniors received their Thanksgiving meal from Spectrum Community Services.

In honor of Veteran's Day, the Spectrum staff and board want to honor Senior Meals client Carl Dudley, and ALL the brave men and women who have served our country.  Whether in the past, the present or the future, during times of war and peace, all of us at Spectrum Community Services salute and thank all of the veterans who have served! 

Carl Dudley turned down a scholarship to Morehouse College awarded to him by Martin Luther King, Jr. and others in 1961. He had aspirations of becoming a famous jazz saxophonist and singer, following in the footsteps of his musical family members, and against his mother’s wishes. Instead Carl found himself outside a recruitment office one afternoon in 1962. Most of the doors were locked as the officers took their lunch break. When Carl returned an hour later, two branches of the armed services were open and with the flip of a coin, Carl enlisted in the U.S. Air Force.

Spectrum Wins Excellence in Service Award On October 20th, Spectrum Community Services was presented with the Excellence in Service Award bestowed by the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce. The annual Community Service Awards is a fun-filled evening as the Chamber recognizes those deserving individuals, groups and businesses who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in business, volunteer activities and achievement within the Pleasanton community. The Community Service Awards began in 1963 to recognize good people doing great things in the community and since then hundreds of recipients have been honored. Click the video below to watch Spectrum Executive Director Lara Calvert's remarks about receiving this award.