While the past year has been difficult for everyone, one group has been especially impacted by the pandemic due to their health risk: senior citizens.
“Since the pandemic began, many seniors have not left their home in twelve months. That takes a toll on mental health,” says Laura Kopp, president/CEO of CASI, the Quad Cities Center for Active Seniors in Davenport. “The majority of what we do here is based on providing socialization. That fellowship, connection and opportunity to connect with others adds purpose to their lives. Without CASI, they’ve really suffered the effects of loneliness and isolation.”
On March 17, the center, which serves residents of Scott County and the greater Quad Cities, was forced to close its doors due to the pandemic. But this spring — exactly one year from closing — CASI was able to announce its reopening, thanks in part to a $10,000 grant from United Way Quad Cities’ COVID-19 Rebuilding Fund. The grant will help cover fixed costs and help make up for lost revenue due to a year of closure.
With help from the grant, the center is once again offering programming such as Zumba and low-impact exercise, but with restrictions including shorter hours, social distancing and masks, and limited class sizes to adhere to health and safety best practices.
The return to operations, even though limited, is something to celebrate, says Kopp.
“We are so grateful for the United Way’s generosity and for investing in our reopening,” Kopp says. “After so much isolation, our seniors are so grateful to have an opportunity to come back and reconnect.”
One year into the pandemic, United Way continues to see heightened requests for help. Since July 2020 — thanks to the generosity of Quad Citizens like you — United Way has distributed 42 grants from the COVID-19 Fund, totaling $369,528.
It’s not too late to get our community back on the path to recovery. Support immediate relief, emerging needs and longer-term rebuilding efforts to drive lasting change with your gift to United Way.