Seniors create crafts for community outreach in Austintown

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.The Senior Outreach Services group at the Austintown Senior Center decorated a large donation bin to hold toys that the group helps donate to the Akron Childrens Hospital in Boardman for Christmas.


Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Members of the Senior Outreach Services group at the Austintown Senior Center are, from left, (front) Judy Hack, Helen Kaniclides, Donna Pence; (back) Carolyn Miller, Christine Schenider and Joye Lange.


Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Seniors from the Austintown Senior Center created lamenated book marks with Bible verses and other quotes, decorated with stickers with calanders on the back to donate to local nursing homes.


Seven women from the Austintown Senior Center are currently working to make a difference as part of the Senior Outreach Services group.

S.O.S. is a group which creates different crafts every few months that they donate to nursing homes in the area.

Group members include Carolyn Miller, the group leader, along with Judy Hack, Joye Lange, Helen Kaniclides, Donna Pence, Christine Schneider and Ellamae Brooks.

“We are all friends we are like a second family to each other,” Hack said.

The group meets twice every week for an hour and a half to work on hand made projects that they distribute to seven different locations, including Austintwoods Rehab and nursing home, Briar Field and Humility House.

Miller said that each nursing home has a general count of their patrons that the group keeps track of for each project.

“When we go in there they are really happy to get them,” Miller said.

The group also spear heads the Austintown Senior Center’s yearly donation to Akron Childrens Hospital in Boardman, where they donate toys around Christmas.

“We like to be together as a group,” Miller said, “All in all its a nice reach out,”

According to Miller the group has been operating since about 2013.

“We like to reach out,” Miller said, “We really love doing this, we aren’t professional crafters.”

It was then that Hilda Townsend, the person who began the group, organized it at the senior center.

“She used to do this all on her own,” Miller said, “When she started coming to the center we all did it as well.”

Townsend died in 2017, but the group has been continuing ever since.

“This was her dream,” Miller said, “So we just kept doing this project even after she passed away.”

All supplies for the projects is donated to the group or funded by the center according to Jessica Ricker, the technology supervisor at the Austintown Senior Center.

The groups current project began in June. They are creating laminated bookmarks to donate, with the end goal of creating 1,058 by Christmas.

The project involves each member of the group putting bible versus and other quotes on scrap book paper, adding stickers and other decorations, and then taping a calendar to the back before lamenting it.

“We try to pass them out before the new year,” Lange said.

In the past the group has done a variety of projects, including creating pocket crosses and prayer beads.

“We do enjoy this, and the thing that is nice about this is each gal does her own decorating.” Miller said.

Miller continued that the group is always looking for new projects to take on.

“We talk and laugh too, We get crazy and have all kinds of funny stories, and do funny things together,” Miller said, “We love to be together as a group.”

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