Naples Daily News – Letter to the Editor
Jim Barton, Collier Senior Resources
Published September 30, 2021
With the added isolation and stress of COVID-19, it’s nice to see Naples Senior Center re-opened to join the Golden Gate Senior Center (GGSC) in serving Collier County’s seniors.
Despite closing the doors from March- May 2020, the donor-funded GGSC has continuously served caregivers, 1,450 members and Collier County’s diverse population throughout the pandemic.
As board chair, I’m pleased to share that GGSC began providing UPSLIDE (counseling), direct assistance, fitness classes and collaborations with Avow, Naples Botanical Garden and other partners via Zoom, phone and home delivery to the charity’s diverse, often low-income membership within days of lockdown.
Both hungry seniors and families from Marco Island to North Naples never stopped receiving food due to collaborations with Meals of Hope, Harry Chapin Food Bank and Collier County Senior Meals. In fact, in June 2020, GGSC became one of Florida’s only senior centers to provide an onsite program — our daily hot lunch.
Lessons learned throughout 2020 mean services continued seamlessly from March to June during required fire alarm system updates, and remind us how fortunate we are to meet face-to-face (at least for now) at the GGSC.
In the seven years since opening, GGSC has remained dedicated to offering a safespace of friendship, learning, wellness and purpose for seniors — this has never been more important.
As we face the Delta variant, let’s acknowledge and show our support for local nonprofits like GGSC and do what we can meet these challenges together.