BY BERNADETTE LAURITZEN
LARSO Executive Director
While Betty Ehart and White Rock Senior Centers will be closed, our food and transportation services remain operational. A daily drive through pick up lunch can be reserved at each center by calling and leaving a message, by 10 a.m.
The drive through lunch will be available from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. The number to call for White Rock is (505) 672-2034 and Betty Ehart is (505) 662-8920. The Home Delivered Meal program continues as usual, and more people will be added to the routes as the week progresses.
Those wishing to make donations can leave items in boxes by the entry way. Items include easy to make meals, boxes milk or juice, individual bars of soap and small bags of dog or cat food. Smith’s or Co-op gift cards can be mailed to 1101 Bathtub Row for needs yet known. We appreciate your time, kindness and patience. Questions can be left at (505) 662-8920 and your calls will be returned throughout the day.
“Our staff is working to implement services by request,” said Bernadette Lauritzen, LARSO Executive Director. “My biggest fear is that our people will be scammed by folks that appear to want to help. Seniors shouldn’t give money or let anyone into their home that they don’t know. The plan is for seniors to call the centers and request help to acquire groceries or prescriptions according to Lauritzen. The hope is that seniors aren’t in urgent need, but that as needs arise, the vetted, background checked and insured staff will be at the ready to help.”
The LAVA/RSVP volunteer program also has a segment of volunteers with the same qualifications. Lauritzen wants to ensure that her employees are working, so that they can still get paid, which is a severe concern for many.
Those wishing to become members of the senior center, that are 60 and older can call and request a membership return call.
“Some things will take a little bit of time, so we ask for patience during such a quick transition, said Lauritzen.”
We will need to do some paperwork if you are new to the centers since a face to face meeting isn’t possible at this time. Our centers will NEVER call you for personal information and you are always welcome to call our main numbers to verify. Depending on the need for information, it may require a day or two for us to respond, but the centers will keep local media, social media and their website updated at all times.
During this difficult time, help our local food establishments by purchasing gift cards. Ask restaurants if a pick up option is available and order by phone or email. This will help ensure their staff stay employed too. Many small businesses and non-profits can’t offer employees insurance, so getting a paycheck is imperative.