Carmen Rideout is executive director of The Hub on Smith. 

 

The holiday season is quickly approaching and, with that, the spirit of giving and thankfulness is in the air. The need for your generosity is greater than ever this year!

As we approach the start of a brand new decade, it is important to reflect on and remember our history, celebrate our progress and look toward the future. In December of 1973 our organization, the Senior Citizens Council, became a private nonprofit corporation with the stated purpose “to promote and develop needed services for the elderly, develop cooperation between organizations and seek federal, state and private revenue to develop services to help meet the needs for older, frequently low-income people in the community.”

The people who founded our organization were part of a grassroots community group of volunteers who became the first board of directors. They were both visionary and practical in their desire to create services under one organizational umbrella. The first service provided was transportation. Providing meals and outreach soon followed. Today we provide community-based services to older adults, family members, caregivers, people living with disabilities and many others in 10 different program areas. We serve over 3,500 people, employ over 100 staff members and are honored to have 350 people who volunteer their time and talents to accomplish our mission.

Along the way, we have been blessed to work with passionate community members like Sheridan resident, Julie Bugher, who volunteers her time giving back to The Hub on Smith, Sheridan’s Senior Center. Julie first fell in love with Sheridan while working at Reeves Construction in Buffalo from 1977-1996, while the company managed projects throughout Sheridan, Buffalo and Gillette. Julie’s outgoing nature and love of working with people also carried her through another 21 years in the retail sector before she finally retired. These days she’s proud to volunteer for The Hub, checking in eager seniors for lunch in the café and assisting with receiving and sorting donations of clothing and other household items at the Green Boomerang thrift store.

“I see first-hand how the wonderful wrap-around services offered at The Hub impact our community and really help our home-bound seniors,” Julie said. “It’s amazing how a hot meal and a friendly face can keep these special people connected to our community. I really love knowing that a kind word or smile from me might make someone’s day a little brighter. Being able to give back like that is just the best feeling in the world!

“Many people in the community still don’t know what The Hub is, but it really is a perfect name for such a vibrant facility — whether you’re interested in exercise classes or billiards or even local hiking trips — it’s a great place to stop in for a meal or a weekly game of cards or bingo to meet up with old friends or make new ones,” she added. “I’m always amazed at the flurry of activity happening there!”

When asked why people should give to the Holiday Spirit campaign, Julie thought a moment.

“Seeing the names of donors from the community on various rooms around the building and the impact of those gifts in the work of these life-changing programs, inspires me,” she said. “I hope by donating my time — and introducing others to the vast array of services at The Hub, we can inspire our friends and neighbors in the community to give back, as well.”

She noted that once people come for a visit, they understand what a great resource The Hub is for the Sheridan community.

“It really is unlike anything else in the state,” she said. “Whether our seniors come to the center for the recreational activities and social engagement or rely on The Hub’s services that allow them to stay in their homes like Help At Home, Family Caregiver Support programs and the meals program, there is no doubt the positive impact these services have on our community. I’m just glad that I have the opportunity to make a difference and I hope that others will be inspired to give both their time and financial support, as well.”

Thanks in great part to the generosity of friends like Julie — and you — many of our community’s seniors are able to receive the services they need to live at home and remain active members of our community, for as long as possible. Please help us continue this important work by making a gift to our 2019 Holiday Spirit Campaign. Your generosity touches thousands of lives in Sheridan County. Thank you for making a difference!