WILLMAR — A virtual cancer support group will meet from 6 to 7:30 p.m. the fourth Monday of the month, Sept. 27. It is open to anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer — any stage, any age — and focuses on building connections and friendships. It is facilitated by Carris Health Cancer Center care coordinators, along with a cancer survivor and his support system. 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.
WILLMAR — The breast cancer peer support group will meet from 6 to 7:30 p.m. the first Monday of the month, Oct. 4. 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 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.
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.
NAMI Western Minnesota
The National Alliance on Mental Illness and NAMI Minnesota offer a variety of free online peer support groups for adults and young adults living with a mental illness, their families, friends, spouses/partners, as well as parents of children and teens. Led by trained peer facilitators, the support groups help individuals and families learn coping skills and find strength through sharing their experiences. Find a complete listing of group meetings and how to join in by going to namimn.org and clicking on “Support Groups” or go straight to namimn.org/support/nami-minnesota-support-groups.
Suicide prevention class for agricultural communities: Sept. 21, Oct. 19 or Dec. 16, 1 to 2:30 p.m., free, online; QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) for Agricultural Communities. The program helps individuals learn the three steps anyone can take to help prevent a suicide. It is for members of rural and agricultural communities over the age of 16 who want to learn best practices in suicide prevention. To register, see “Classes” at namimn.org. For more information, call 651-645-2948.
Family to Family: Meets weekly for eight weeks, classes start Sept. 21 or Oct. 5. Free online educational course that helps families and friends learn about mental illnesses, the brain, treatment and resources to help a loved one living with a mental illness. Participants will also build communication skills, reduce stress, find support and discover the common stages of emotional responses when supporting someone with a mental illness. For more information or to register, see “classes” at namimn.org or contact Marilyn at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-497-6858.
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:
Sept. 16, Willmar: Noon to 6 p.m., First Reformed Church
Sept. 16, Montevideo: 12:30 to 6:30 p.m., Training and Community Center
Sept. 22, Morris: 12:30 to 6:30 p.m., Old No. 1 Bar and Grill
Sept. 27, Milan: 1 to 7 p.m., Kviteseid Lutheran Church
Sept. 28, Clara City: 12:30 to 6:30 p.m., Community Center
Sept. 29, Maynard: Noon to 6 p.m., Events Center
Sept. 29, Glenwood: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Minnewaska High School
Oct. 4, New London: Noon to 6 p.m., The Open Door Christian Church
Oct. 4, Olivia: Noon to 6 p.m., St. Aloysius Catholic Church
Oct. 4, Willmar: 1 to 6 p.m., Vinje Lutheran Church
Oct. 6, Belgrade: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., BBE High School
Oct. 7, Atwater: 1 to 7 p.m., Atwater Community Center
Oct. 8, Olivia: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., BOLD High School
Oct. 11, Willmar: 12:30 to 5:30 p.m., Assembly of God Church
Oct. 12, Glenwood: 12:30 to 6:30 p.m., Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Oct. 13, Dawson: Noon to 6 p.m., Dawson-Boyd High School
Oct. 14, Madison: Noon to 6 p.m., Calvary Baptist Church
Oct. 14, Litchfield: 1 to 7 p.m., Zion Lutheran Church
Oct. 15, Glenwood: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., American Legion
Oct. 15, Willmar: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., United Methodist Church
Oct. 18-19, Redwood Falls: Noon to 6 p.m., Community Center