Hot dogs, potato salad and apple pie were shared among new friends at Tuthill Park this week. Looking at the group, you would have thought it was a long-standing reunion. There was never a dull moment and lots of conversation, laughs and stories shared.
The picnickers were all part of the LSS Better Together program, an effort that matches Sioux Falls area senior citizens with volunteers for the purpose of relationship building and companionship. Here are some pieces of conversation overheard at the event:
- Many people shared memories of family time, weddings and other special events they had been to at the park over the years (the average age of was 90).
- A woman talked about her job at John Morrell during World War II.
- They were all perplexed by frisbee golf that was being played by much younger people near the picnic shelter. Why were they throwing frisbee’s into a garbage can?
- They loved watching kids on the nearby playground and told stories about their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
- One match is making plans to go to the Sunday night car races in Brandon. Many years ago she worked the concession stand and her husband was in the pit crew.
- One guy shared how he loved the event because he had been feeling pretty lonely lately.
- They were lamenting that there was no longer “cheap BINGO” in Sioux Falls (we got the hint and will host a free BINGO night in the coming months).
- They loved the food and the strawberry rhubarb pie was gone in minutes (again, we got the hint and will be sure to bring two next time).
If this sounds at all interesting to you and you know you would love being part of Better Together! Individuals, couples and families are welcome to volunteer. We ask volunteers spend four hours per month with the older adult they are matched with. Most of the time is spent with just them and LSS coordinates a group event with all matches in the program about once a month. Also, if you know of an older adult in the Sioux Falls area who could use an extra friend, let us know. Visit here for more information or call us at 221-2403.