MSAC and Community Services  

MSAC Staff Preparing Facility for Soft Re-opening
 
Thank you to our entire team for support in preparing our facility for re-opening. This includes perfecting our process of health screening, selecting signage, sanitizing, preparing a good supply of PPEs and hand sanitizer, and more. Special thanks to Harry Divack, our Administrative Assistant, who has been the sole employee working in the building most of the recent weeks and making sure that everyone who enters is screened and tracked, including vendors and volunteers.

Informal Social Gatherings Postponed for Two Weeks
 
Our previously advertised informal social gatherings in our building have been postponed for two more weeks while we wait for air conditioning system cleaning. Early interest has not been strong yet, so we are also looking at ways to make this offering more interesting. Your ideas are welcome!

Foot Care Clinics - Trying to Add More!
 
Our limited slots at Foot Care Clinics with Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice are filling up quickly. We are trying to schedule more, and we are also looking into other options with additional qualified partners. Stay tuned -- we know many of you are in great need of this service!

Fall Program Guide and Registration Form Coming in a Week; Classes to Start Late September
As announced in our August newsletter last week (see page 3 for details), we expect to have the Fall Program Guide and Registration Form ready for you by Monday, August 17. If it's ready earlier, we will attach a link to the e-letter on August 16. Registration forms will be accepted starting Monday, August 24 through the mail, deposited to our drop-box in the side entrance vestibule, and online. Registration will last for ten days, no payment required at time of registration, and then we will do a lottery in early September. So, no race on August 24! Classes begin in late September. Please refer to the newsletter link above for more details!

Older Announcements:

 MSAC's Re-Opening Plan

We are excited and nervous to start slowly welcoming the public back to our building this month, following months of talking, planning, and close attention to the State of VT’s detailed guidance for re-opening senior centers. Becca returns from her four-month furlough August 4, and Norma will be out of the building until further notice. 

Our soft re-opening will not be an all-day, 9-4, reality. Instead, this month we are scheduling a limited number of activities in the building, and reservations are required for attendance at all of them, including foot care clinics and informal social gatherings, all of which have strict limits person-counts, of course. 

We are also offering more of our own online activities including nutrition education and Zoom lunches in August. Depending on our experience in August, and with careful watch on regional Covid-19 numbers and guidance, we hope to add more activities in September, including an indoor and outdoor film event, and start a limited number of classes. 

To learn more about our instructors who are offering private classes, including some of their schedules, visit the “Classes” page of our website and scroll down to find a current link, updated weekly. 

To learn more about the reopening process you can check our August Newsletter, which will be out later on August 3!

Welcome Back, Becca!

Welcome back, Becca Jordan, our Communications and Development Coordinator for MSAC, Recreation, Parks & Trees!  Becca has been on furlough since early April, along with many other city employees.  She will work mostly from home and will occasionally be seen in our building assisting with in-person activities. We look forward to transitioning back to having Becca on board! 

MSAC’s Fall Class Registration: Many Changes, Including a Lottery System

There are many changes for Fall 2020 Classes, and we know this is going to be a time of great learning and adaptation for our staff, volunteers, instructors and participants. Full details about class offerings will be in our Program Guide and Registration Form, available by August 17 on our website. We are working to be able to offer a wide variety of programming even though the quantities of classes and participants will, in most cases, be decreased from the past. Thank you for your patience and understanding, as we know some of you will be disappointed to have fewer opportunities than you became accustomed to in the past. To learn more, please see our August Newsletter, which will come online Monday afternoon, August 3!

Chet is Available to Help with Your Technology Questions! 

Are you struggling with Zoom, Google documents, Facebook, Email, or other technology issues?  Our wonderful Americorps member, Chet, may be able to help! Please email him at ccienkowski@montpelier-vt.org and include: your name, the best way to reach you, the type of device you are using, the program or application you are using, and a description of your problem or question.  If Chet can’t solve it, he’ll try to point you in another direction to find help. Please note, this is a new service Chet will provide as time allows, and it may take a few days to hear back. 
 

Wish-list Items and Volunteers Needed: Help Parks and MSAC Team grow food for FEAST Senior Meals!

Would you like to help provide FEAST with fresh, local food? This summer, the Parks Division and MSAC are teaming up to grow fresh food for Montpelier Senior Activity Center’s FEAST senior meals program (including Meals on Wheels). We are so grateful for the strong show of community support already! 

Community FEAST Farm Wish-list: 

  • Plastic totes and waxed cardboard boxes for produce
  • Large plastic bags for greens
  • Garden tools: hand tools (hand hoes, trowels, hand cultivators), long-handled hoes, steel T-posts.
  • A wheelbarrow 
  • Seeds or seedling starts (especially culinary herbs)
  • Volunteer help with weeding, planting, watering, harvesting, and more. Several 2-hour shifts on Mondays. No special skills or abilities are necessary
  • Please bring drinking water, a mask and work gloves. 

Email Jacqueline Huettenmoser at eco-americorps@montpelier-vt.org for more information or directions to the farm at 5 Home Farm Way, or This is the link to the sign-up sheet.

Drop donations off at the Hubbard Park office or email Jacqueline at eco-AmeriCorps@ montpelier-vt.org to have them picked up.

Thank you to individuals, businesses, organizations for donations: more still needed! 

We are grateful for many recent donations of all sizes to the senior activity center that help us maintain our communications with our membership and the public, keep the FEAST senior meal program strong as it delivers more Meals on Wheels and To-go meals, and make up for operating expenses of this fiscal year in light of the pandemic.  In order to try to balance our budget for the new fiscal year, we are still welcoming tax-deductible donations to the senior center! Checks may be made out to MSAC and mailed to 58 Barre Street. Credit card donations are welcome online at https://www.montpelier-vt.org/746/Donate.  Questions? Call 223-2518. 

In the future we will be seeking donations of new and gently used working electronic devices for seniors wishing to connect with remote video programs but lacking the computer or smart device to do so. Please hold onto such devices you may be able to donate and watch for our specific request coming soon as we are not yet ready to process such donations. 

MSAC offering inexpensive yoga mats

Prior to city furloughs and canceling our own Spring online classes, we purchased a bulk order of new yoga mats and have thirty for sale. If you are doing yoga at home now and would like to buy one of our mats, we are offering them at cost for $10 each (more if you’d like to support MSAC!). To reserve one, please contact Norma in the office at 223-2518, or email her at nmaurice@montpelier-vt.org. Pick-up is available during FEAST To-Go on Tuesday and Friday, 12:00-12:30 pm in our front courtyard, or by other arrangements with Norma. Please wear a mask when you come and wait for your turn at the pick-up table!

FEAST To-Go: Updates to schedule (12-12:30) and suggested donation, plus more community meal options 

The suggested meal donation is $5-10. While making a donation is still optional for those age 60+ who have filled out the nutrition survey, our actual cost is closer to $10/meal. We are grateful to those who are in a financial position to donate, and we continue to be committed to providing meals to ALL seniors who show up or are eligible to receive home deliveries. 

For those under age 60 needing warm noontime meals, we encourage you to check out the church community meals now offered To-Go Monday-Thursday, 11:30-12:15, and Skinny Pancake’’s "Shift Meals" available for staggered pick-up on Fridays 12:00-2:00 to those who fill out a request form by the previous Thursday at noon - more info: https://skinnypancake.com/shiftmeals/).