Senior center steps up for United Way

Becki Wallace, Loudon County Senior Center director, looks through various items collected for the upcoming rummage sale.

Loudon County Senior Center’s knitting and crocheting room is temporarily doubling as storage for an upcoming rummage sale to support the United Way of Loudon County’s annual campaign.

The rummage sale, which will take place 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, is the first at the senior center.

“We are hosting it here,” Becki Wallace, Loudon County Senior Center director, said. “Judy Fenton with the United Way of Loudon County, we are tag-teaming with her. We’re being the host site. In the past, they had done cornhole many years ago. This year, we’re doing a rummage sale. We’re collecting and going from there.

“The seniors, we have been advertising for folks to drop off their gently used items,” she added. “We’re collecting anything. Furniture, clothes, knick-knacks. Just anything that they think will sell to raise money.”

Wallace has planned to have a variety of vehicles parked in the senior center’s lot to garner attention.

“We are also having a group bring in some hit-and-miss engines and some antique tractors that day and sitting them out in the parking lot,” she said. “That’ll be something for somebody as they’re coming in the sale to take a look at also.”

Wallace hopes the sale will not only help raise money for United Way, but expose older residents to the facility.

“I just would love to let our seniors here in Loudon County know about our senior center,” she said. “There is like so many seniors that do not know that this place exists. That just blows my mind. This location has been here for 12 years.

“It’s a beautiful location, and it’s a great place for seniors to come together, bond new friendships, opposed to staying at home, being alone, somewhere to come meet folks their own age, have conversation, interact, just that quality of life that is needed along with the physical exercise,” she added.

The senior center’s housekeeping program is funded by the United Way campaign.

“We support the homemaker program with the senior center,” Judy Fenton, United Way executive director, said. “That’s very important to our seniors who are in their homes and need help with housekeeping, kind of like a health check also on them to make sure they’re doing OK. These are ones who probably do not have family in the area to help them, so sometimes the homemaker that they send out is sometimes the only person that senior might see, so it’s very important.”

The center, 901 Main St., Loudon, also has a transportation program that allows seniors to grocery shop or attend doctor’s appointments for $2 for a round-trip ride within the county or $3 for a round-trip ride outside the county.

“(United Way does) a lot of good in our county,” Wallace said. “They are just great folks that help, and that needs to be rang throughout. Folks need to do that more, helping. I just thoroughly enjoy working with them, and it’s nothing but good.”

She hopes to raise $1,000 from the rummage sale.

“At this time, we’re in our fundraising mode, so this will help us go toward our $450,000 goal to help our nonprofit partners in the county,” Fenton said.