Thursday, March 23, 2000

Seniors’ Groups has more to offer

Seniors’ Groups has more to offer
The Ann Arbor News
By Pamela Appea

The Tuesday Ladies gather faithfully every week at the Ypsilanti Senior Center, an unassuming building tucked away in a residential pocket but close to the heart of Ypsilanti’s downtown.

The place serves as a home, as the sign outside the center says, for the young at heart.

A few, like Gretchen Broach, 89, a retired elementary school teacher, have been part of this seniors’ group for 20 years—close to the time of the Tuesday Ladies’ inception.

But in the past few months, many of the Tuesday ladies say in-house projects that used to come in regularly –including envelope stuffing and bandage-rolling–inexplicably have stopped completely.

A service-based group, the Tuesday Ladies, at least some of them, knit, quilt, sew and crotchet homespun creations that they give away to whoever needs them, including area hospitals and battered women’s shelters.

Several of the Tuesday Ladies have given up sewing and the like over the years due to arthritis and failing eyesight. But that doesn’t mean they don’t want other projects to work on, the women say.

Wanda Schuler, another Tuesday Lady, said of the flow of project the group received from all over the city: “All of a sudden it just stopped.”

Schuler said the dip in volunteer-related requests has hurt the group’s volunteer base as well. A few of the Tuesday ladies migrated to other more active Ypsilanti-area service groups, Schuler said.

Many of the Tuesday Ladies say they also keep themselves busy at the Ypsilanti Senior Center’s other programs and activities—including everything from shopping trips to Tai Chi exercise classes.

But the service component, said Thora B. Keene, program coordinator for the Tuesday Ladies is important to all members of the group.

“We keep active by doing things for other people,” Keene said.

Originally published Thursday, March 23, 2000