Column: Aging In Place

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The holiday season has begun and social isolation becomes magnified to those less fortunate, in need or alone. As a community, let us not forget how we can help our senior citizens, families and individuals who may be struggling.

First, we can help each other in a personal way – be aware of your neighbors, especially if they are alone or elderly. Watch for lights to come on in the evening, activity in and out of the home. If anything looks amiss, check it out. Are newspapers still in the driveway, mail in the mailbox? It’s not interfering to knock on the door to check on someone. It is a show of kindness.  It only takes a minute to keep your eyes open. If you have concerns, you can always call the Police Department at 503-691-4800 to ask for a wellness check. Our police officers are trained and prepared to do this.

Second, Tualatin has several non-profit organizations that can help us help others whether they are our seniors or families and children in need. When you are grocery shopping for holiday dinners, pick up extras for the School House Pantry. When you are cleaning out your closets, donate your gently used clothes to the Caring Closet for our homeless children and children in need. When you buy a new piece of furniture, new pots and pans or kitchen items, or a new bed, donate your old ones to Community Warehouse. When you are toy shopping, pick up an extra toy to donate to the KGW Great Toy Drive. If you are getting a new sweat shirt, hoodie or coat, donate your old one to the Integrity Staffing sweat shirt drive.

Tualatin School House Pantry:  located on the lower level of the Rolling Hills Community Church, 3550 SW Borland Road, 503-783-0721, www.schoolhousepantry.org. There is no charge for the food received which is enough for a family of four for 3-5 days. Fresh vegetables and fruit, canned soups, tuna fish, vegetables and fruit, cereal, beans and rice, flour, salt, cooking oil, toilet paper, soap, shampoo, diapers are always needed.

The Caring Closet: located at the Tigard-Tualatin School District offices, 9000 SW Durham Road, Tigard, 503-431-5400, ttsdschools.org/pages/TigardHS/Caring_Closet. The Caring Closet’s mission is to increase the confidence and retention rate of our lowest income students by providing free, clean clothes and shoes, hygiene products and emergency bedding supplies to children within the Tigard-Tualatin School District. This increased confidence can lead to academic and social success in school.

Community Warehouse: 8380 SW Nyberg Street, 503-347-2417, www.communitywarehouse.org. Our local, non-profit furniture bank serving families in Tualatin. They provide individuals and families in need with the basic, essential household furnishings needed to create more comfortable, stable homes. Mattresses, dressers, kitchen items, gently used furniture and household goods are always welcomed and needed.

Integrity Staffing: 18725 SW Boones Ferry Road. Drop off your gently used or new sweater, sweat shirt, hoodie or coat. Deadline is December 13.

KGW Great Toy Drive: Donate a new, unwrapped toy for children 0-17 years at the Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue station on Tualatin-Sherwood Road. Deadline is December 14.

Thank you for caring and sharing. Happy Holidays to all from the Tualatin Area Aging Task Force.

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Susan Noack
Susan Noack has lived in Tualatin for 15 years. Before retirement, she was a development director/event planner for non-profits. Now as an “Aging in Place” senior, her passion is being an advocate for seniors and giving back to the community. She is a member of both the Meals on Wheels People and Juanita Pohl Center advisory committees and chair the Tualatin Area Aging Task Force committee.