January 28, 2015
To celebrate Lions International founder Melvin Jones’ birthday, the Edmonton Chinese Lions Club partnered with Operation Friendship Seniors Society (OFSS) to serve dinner at their McCauley Seniors Drop-In Centre.
With the chill returning to Edmonton’s winter, the seniors were served vegetable beef soup andsandwiches made with bread donated by COBS bakery. Everyone seemed in good spirits considering the gloomy weather, and after service, the club members were treated to a tour of the OFSS storage facility, which Community Relations Supervisor Jimmy Morrison estimated would be cleaned out of warm weather clothing and basic necessities (such as toiletries, socks, and underwear) within a month. He noted that while the warm weather of late has meant less demand on their services, they still require a constant flow of donations to keep up with the needs of their clients.
Operation Friendship Seniors Society has been operating in Edmonton since 1969, and is committed to improving the lives of Edmonton’s seniors in need. They serve over 2,000 meals a week (all prepared by one very dedicated cook), and provide over 300 affordable housing units exclusively for Edmonton’s 55+ population.
Like many charitable organizations, they operate on a shoestring, and rely heavily on volunteers and donations from Edmontonians to keep their clients fed and clothed, especially through the cold winter. Their Helping Hands program provides seniors with rides to the bank, grocery stores and medical appointments, or even just a friendly visit for a lonely senior.
For those who live near the drop-in centre, there’s always hot coffee and tea brewed, and lots of open space to sit and chat. Many of the seniors who frequent the drop-in refer to each other as family – the bonds fostered by this organization are strong, and a social lifeline for seniors living alone in Edmonton.
OFSS is committed to treating all of its clients with dignity and respect, and providing services to help Edmonton’s seniors live independently whenever possible.
More information about OFSS can be found at their website: www.ofss.org. The Edmonton Chinese Lions Club is committed to sponsoring a dinner service in Spring 2015 – details will follow as they become available!