Diving into this month’s column, it’s hard to believe we’re in the swing of the holiday season. It’s the season of giving and the season to be thankful. We at the O’Neill Center and Belpre Senior Center have a lot to be thankful for. Washington County voters told us on Nov. 3 that they feel what we do for seniors is a value to our community. We want to thank the voters for continuing to support all that we do and for allowing us to continue the necessary and vital work for our senior citizens.
As a nonprofit, 53% of our funding comes from the levy. Nearly half of our funding, however, comes from other sources such as grants and state and federal funding. And donations. Not only are we blessed that the community supports the senior services levy, but whenever we ask our supporters for help, they are right there, ready to give.
This year we participated in the Marietta Community Foundation’s Nonprofit Challenge to try to collect the most toys for the Angel Tree program. Our friends and supporters helped to make this a huge success for the kids in the community. Kicking off this weekend, we will be participating in Marietta Main Street’s Holiday Tree Walk. Our supporters came through, buying commemorative ornaments to help us adopt a tree. These types of community events help the O’Neill Center to get the word out about our programs while also showing support for our community as a whole.
The opportunities to have an impact on the services we provide don’t end there, though. Our end-of-the-year appeal letter will also be going out to our supporters very soon. Every donation has an impact on the lives of seniors in Washington County by allowing us to continue to provide transportation to and from medical appointments; grocery shopping and light house cleaning; prescription and Medicare assistance; adult day care services to give primary caretakers a break; and so much more.
The activities in our centers are continuing and we are constantly adding new events. Come join us this holiday for a Christmas movie or enjoy music from the Marietta High School choir. Indulge in a massage. Expand your horizons with weekly TED Talks. Take a break with gentle yoga. There’s something for everyone.
On behalf of the entire O’Neill team, I want to offer our sincere thanks. We are beyond grateful for the community’s continued support and we want to wish you all a joyous and safe holiday season.
Erin O’Neill is Development Coordinator for The O’Neill Center, located at 333 Fourth St. in Marietta.