WILLMAR — Lutheran Social Service is looking for volunteers to help meet an increasing need to provide support and respite to family caregivers. The volunteers meet at the homes of older adults and out in the community, offering caregivers a few hours each week to run errands, catch up with friends and recharge.
Currently, due to COVID-19, all visits are being done virtually through phone and video chat, but support can be given, and friendships are still formed even virtually. They are hoping to resume in-person volunteering in the fall.
It is an opportunity for caring individuals to share their skills, meet new people and make a direct difference in people’s lives. Volunteers earn a monthly living allowance ranging from $150 to $250 and can earn a $1,300 to $1,600 education grant annually, which they can use for tuition and student loans. Volunteers older than 55 can also put these grants toward a child or grandchild’s education fund.
WILLMAR — Aging Wisely: Finding New Confidence and Purpose will meet at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 5, at the Willmar Community Center. The program is part of a series to help support the educational, social and nutritional needs of older adults. Darlene Bratberg, also known as "Happy the clown," will share her clowning stories, smiles and music. Join the celebration of International Clown Week with “Happy.” For more information and to make a reservation, call Carrie at 320-231-2598 by 4 p.m. Aug. 4.
The Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging provides advocacy, information, resources and assistance so that older adults can maintain the lifestyle of their choice. To learn more about this and other presentations and trainings the agency has to offer, visit mnraaa.org/calendar.
Live chat with a specialist also can be accessed online at www.MinnesotaHelp.info.
SAIL: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:15 to 11:15 a.m., Willmar Community Center, free, all skill levels. The Staying Active & Independent for Life program relies upon weight training and balance exercises to protect against fractures caused by osteoporosis by increasing muscular strength, balance and bone density.
Senior LinkAge Line: A free service of the Minnesota Board on Aging, the Senior LinkAge Line is the State Health Insurance Assistance Program and Senior Medicare Patrol for Minnesota. Older adults can contact the Senior LinkAge Line at 1-800-333-2433 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays to receive help with questions involving Medicare and health insurance, help finding services to stay in one's home or help to afford medication. Be sure to have a complete list of prescription drugs and dosages.
Disability Hub MN: A free statewide resource network that helps solve problems, navigate the system and plan for the future. The team knows the ins and outs of community resources and government programs, and has years of experience helping people fit them together. Call 1-866-333-2466 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or find email and live chat options at www.disabilityhubmn.org.
Senior LinkAge Line and Disability Hub MN virtual presentations: Aug. 9, 2 to 3:30 p.m.; or Aug. 19, 10 to 11:30 a.m. Find out how the Senior LinkAge Line and the Disability Hub MN support older adults, people with disabilities, and their families with decision-making and more. Also learn how to use online tools like the Hub website, DB101, HB101, and MinnesotaHelp.info. Register to attend the presentation that fits your schedule. Aug. 9 at bit.ly/3imkIbL or Aug. 19 at bit.ly/3krEuFq.
Coffee Talk, a statewide phone chat line for older adults, is open from 8 a.m. to noon weekdays. Call toll-free at 877-238-2282. It is staffed by volunteers who understand the older adult population’s needs and challenges and is dedicated to easing loneliness and social isolation among older adults. Volunteers can offer words of encouragement and understanding and provide information about support and resources available in the person’s community. Calls are free. The caller’s privacy is a priority, and the only information requested will be first name. Users of the line may call as often as they would like.
Willmar Meals on Wheels: Hot Meals on Wheels are delivered on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. A frozen meal is available for the following day or the weekend. The meals are available for persons who are unable to cook for themselves due to their age, disability, illness or recent release from the hospital. Along with the regular meal, three special diet meals are available. The cost is $6.81 and includes all the side dishes (including dessert) and either milk or juice.
Order by 1 p.m. the weekday before the delivery day by calling 320-235-5310, ext. 219, or 320-894-7401. The menu is available on West Central Industries website, www.wcimn.org under Business Solutions.
Willmar Senior Dining: The meals are served at 11:30 a.m. weekdays and are also available for curbside pickup at the Community Center. The meals are open to those who are 60 years of age and older. Suggested donation of $5 a meal, call 320-262-5288 by noon the day before and leave a message. The menu is available on the city of Willmar website www.willmarmn.gov under Community Center.
WILLMAR — The virtual breast cancer peer support group will meet from 6 to 7:30 p.m. the first Monday of the month, Aug. 2. The group is for women of any age who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. It is facilitated by one of Carris Health Cancer Center’s care coordinators. Knowing everybody has at least one thing in common to tie you together — cancer — can make it easier to open up, share, cry and laugh. Facilitators will make sure nobody is forced to share more than they wish. Free. Register at CarrisHealth.com/classes-events.
The American Red Cross conducts blood drives in the west central area. To give blood you must be at least 17 years old, weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. You can give blood every 56 days. Double red cells can be donated every 112 days. While all blood types are needed, type O and type B-negative donors are especially encouraged to give.
Appointments can be made at 1-800-RED-CROSS or online at www.redcrossblood.org. All donors need acceptable identification. The preferred form is a government-issued picture identification, such as a driver’s license, or a Red Cross blood donor card. Otherwise you will need to provide two other forms of identification, such as a work identification, Social Security card, personal check or credit card. Personalized mail such as a utility bill will not be accepted.
Blood drives scheduled for the Tribune area are:
July 30, Olivia: Noon to 6 p.m., Renville County Government Services Center
Aug. 2, Olivia: Noon to 6 p.m., St. Aloysius Catholic Church
Aug. 3, Willmar: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Kandiyohi County Health and Human Service
Aug. 4, Renville: 1 to 7 p.m., Community Center
Aug. 4, Dawson: Noon to 6 p.m., City Building
Aug. 5, Willmar: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Kandiyohi County Historical Society
Aug. 5, Madison: Noon to 6 p.m., Faith Lutheran Church
Aug. 9, Willmar: 12:30 to 5:30 p.m., Assembly of God Church
Aug. 10, Clarkfield: 1 to 7 p.m., Clarkfield Lutheran Church
Aug. 11, Kandiyohi: Noon to 6 p.m., Civic Center
Aug. 11, Hector: 1 to 7 p.m., First Lutheran Church
Aug. 11, Appleton: Noon to 6 p.m., St. John’s Catholic Church
Aug. 12, Holloway: Noon to 6 p.m., Community Center
Aug. 12, Willmar: Noon to 6 p.m., VFW
Aug. 17, Willmar: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Jennie-O corporate office