CIRCLEVILLE — When the Older Adult Network of Pickaway County put out a call for volunteers to help put together care packages, Goodwill’s Pickaway County Activities and Training Center Supervisor Stephanie Smith didn’t hesitate to reach out.

Smith was surprised by the extra grateful response she received from Bonnie Lowry Vallette, who conducts community outreach for Honor Home Health.

“She said it made her heart super grateful and she cried,” Smith said.

At least a dozen individuals who attend Goodwill of South Central Ohio’s Pickaway County and Chillicothe centers pitched in to fill 450 bags, which will be delivered to senior citizens served through the Pickaway County Senior Center Meal Delivery Program.

“I was blown away by Stephanie’s generous offer,” Vallette said. “The last two years have been so challenging, and the Pickaway Older Adult Network had to change as a result. Gathering via Zoom is a very different experience from sharing a space and a cause.”

Vallette said she enjoyed working with the center, calling them a “great group of souls.”

“The senior center is thrilled. The Older Adult Network is thrilled. I’m thrilled,” she said. “I count this all as a huge win for our Goodwill of South Central Ohio counties.”

Goodwill of South Central Ohio operates seven area activities and training centers, which provide various services to individuals with disabilities. The Pickaway County center was opened a year ago after another day service provider closed suddenly, and recently moved from South Bloomfield into Herald Square on North Court Street.

“One of the primary goals of our centers is to assist the individuals we serve with making connections in the community,” said Cana Horner, Goodwill’s missions coordinator.

“Connections are made through different community outings and activities, as well as volunteering to help other agencies and organizations.”

Goodwill Activities Specialist Tessa Raybern is hopeful they get the chance to help the Older Adult Network with the care packages again.

“It’s a good little project. We enjoy it,” she said.

Brian Park, who attends the Chillicothe center, agreed.

“I like it, helping people. I like to help everybody,” he said.

The packages included items such as lotion, a medication organizer and medication disposal bags, which were provided by area organizations and anonymous donors from the community.

Donors included the Alzheimer’s Association Central Ohio, Laura Crisp; OhioHealth Berger Hospital, Teratia Welch; Health Care Logistics, Sue Collier; Pickaway Addiction Action Coalition, Susan Metzger; Honor Home Health, Nicole Speakman; Health and Wellness Coach Dana Begle; and Bonnie Vallette, Older Adult Network of Pickaway County.

Goodwill is a nonprofit agency focused on partnering with individuals with disabilities and challenges to help them lead the lives they envision across our eight-county region: Athens, Fayette, Hocking, Jackson, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, and Vinton.

As of December 2021, Goodwill of South Central Ohio, based in Chillicothe, is serving 297 people across its region.

The Pickaway County Older Adult Network exists to encourage networking between each elder and/or family member in Pickaway County, as well as members of regional and local agencies, healthcare providers, community organizations and other businesses, which serve the elders in our community.

Cross pollination of ideas, greater awareness of local resources and strengthening relationships between participants, organizations and businesses, helps to actualize the goal of increasing the opportunities for our elders to be more fully served where they live.

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