The Poultney Young at Heart Senior Center is primarily a meal site for seniors, sixty years old and up, and a social center where seniors from the community meet every day to enjoy the activities that the center organizes. The center has been serving Rutland County seniors for more than 30 years, working as a positive force in making the region a better place to live and thrive.
Kathy Hutson, the site director, opened her doors to us for an interview, to get to know the center better and everything they do. Hutson states that the center is “a place where elderly people use to come to get a meal. People from Poultney come here, but we also have seniors that come from Salem (New York), from the North of Rutland, and from all of the Rutland County and outside of the Rutland County region.” The center also offers the service of meals on wheels, a program that delivers meals to people at their homes who are unable to prepare or purchase their own meals. The Young at Heart Senior Center is the only center in the Rutland County that makes their own meals. According to Kathy Hutson, the center serves over a thousand meals a month, despite being open only four days a week.
Everyone who works in the center is a volunteer, most of them seniors. Hutson explains that the center is also a social place with weekly activities. “People come to the center before or after lunch and sit with their friends to chat. This is the time when they actually leave their homes and join the activities at the center to enjoy time with the people they know.” According to Kathy, some Green Mountain College students have visited the center in the past, volunteering in the kitchen as well as giving the seniors company during their meals. The seniors like to get visits from new people that they do not know, but they understand that students are really busy with their courses and may not have time to join the center activities. Kathy Hutson explains that “it is difficult to make students come here to visit because I know that their weekly schedule is busy, but giving an hour or two a week to the center is enough to have a great talk with our seniors, or enjoy some of our activities with them.”
The Young at Heart center offers a variety of activities, and wants to encourage community participation, welcoming visitors for a couple of hours any day of the week. “All the activities that we have in the center, such as the card party on Wednesdays, or bingo on Fridays, are open to everybody" Hutson explains. These activities are mainly organized for the senior members, but they enjoy it more when other community members, including Green Mountain College students, join them.” Seniors from the center love to interact with young people because it makes the center a more active and entertaining place, which makes the center more fun.
Kathy Hutson concluded the interview by explaining that “it is really important for everyone to be social. I don’t believe that young people should be only with young people, or elderly people should be only with elderly people. I think that there is a lot more to be learned by mixing with other ages. This is missing in a lot of cultures today, and I think that young people can learn a lot from the experiences and stories that elderly people have to tell, as well as elderly people can change their point of views on some kinds of things with the help of a young perspective. Young at Heart Senior Center was created to make the community a better place, and improve the relation between our neighborhoods, by knowing more from each other and learn from each other. I think that there are amazing things to be learned and appreciated between all of us.”
If you want to know more about the Young at Heart Senior center and their activities, you can visit their website here, or follow their Facebook pagehere.
If you have any questions, you can contact the site director Kathy Hutson via email: email@example.com