COMMUNITY HELPS TO KEEP SENIORS COOL
During those "dog days of summer" Clayton County Senior Services received a generous donation of fans from the Clayton County Fire and Emergency Department and from the SJAC Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. Both organizations have become major supporters of Senior Services over the years in helping to provide assistance to area seniors.
Senior Services received their first generous donation in July when firefighters delivered over 80 boxes of fans along with multiple cases of water for county seniors and just a few days later members of the fraternity greeted Mary Byrd, the Director of Clayton Senior Services with SUVs loaded to capacity with an additional supply of fans at the J. Charley Griswell Senior Center. Ms. Byrd was delighted when the organizations contacted Senior Services about making their donation, "Clayton County Senior Services is always happy to partner with Chief Hood's fire department and local civic groups such as the SJAC Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. Their much needed donations will go quite far in providing relief from the heat for our county seniors. With the dangerous record breaking temperatures that we recently experienced this summer it is important that we rally together and provide any type assistance possible to our older residents."
The local Kappa chapter also assisted Senior Services this past winter with a donation of heaters for senior residents.
Congressman John Lewis Tours Frank Bailey Senior Center
Congressman John Lewis spent an afternoon with Clayton County Commissioner Gail Hambrick (District 2) and the Director of Senior Services, Mary Byrd, touring the Frank Bailey Senior Center and the Frank Bailey Fitness Center. Congressman Lewis received a much deserved, warm welcome from both the seniors and staff at the center. The Congressman took time out to hear a special choral selection from the senior choir and chatted with constituents residing in areas of the county that are now a part of the 5th Congressional District. Congressman Lewis stated that he was quite impressed with the facility and the variety of programs offered by the senior center.
Commissioner Hambrick was delighted that Congressman Lewis wanted to tour the center located within her district. "It was an honor to have this civil-rights icon visit the Frank Bailey Senior Center", said Hambrick. "Many of our seniors share a special connection with the Congressman, through the pivotal role he played in the Civil Rights Movement as well as his upbringing in Alabama as the son of sharecroppers. It was truly a memorable visit for everyone at the center."
Congressman Lewis is often called "one of the most courageous persons the Civil Rights Movement ever produced". He has dedicated his life to protecting human rights, securing civil liberties, and building what he calls "The Beloved Community" in America. Since being elected to Congress in November of 1986 he has faithfully served the as the constituents of Georgia's Fifth Congressional District, that now includes parts of Clayton County. As the Senior Chief Deputy Whip for the Democratic Party in the House, Congressman Lewis continues to ensure that the voices of the men and women of the Fifth Congressional District are clearly heard in Washington, D.C.
The Frank Bailey Senior Center is located at 6213 Riverdale Road in Riverdale, Ga, The center serves a vital role as a place of community empowerment and independence in the lives of seniors residing in Forest Park, Morrow, Jonesboro, Riverdale and other surrounding areas. As a county facility, Frank Bailey is a venue where seniors are able to take classes to stay abreast of the latest in technology; learn about health and wellness issues that will help improve their quality life; while at the same time provide seniors with an opportunity to socialize with other older adults. Frank Bailey Senior Center and Frank Bailey Fitness Center plays an instrumental role in positioning Clayton County as a Lifelong Community.
Renowned Community Walkability Study Expert Holds Workshop In Clayton County
Jonesboro-Clayton County Senior Services Department recently partnered with the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), the city of Morrow and the Georgia Chapter of AARP and hosted a workshop to review the city of Morrow's live and walk environment for older residents. The presenters of the workshop were from the Walkable and Liveable Communities (WALC) Institute.
Dan Burden serves as the executive director and co-founder of the Walkable and Liveable Communities Institute and has been named by TIME magazine as "one of the six most important civic innovators in the world". As part of the walkable and liveable workshop that was presented by the WALC Institute, Burden and WALC director of outreach and communications, Kelly Morphy, walked along area thoroughfares with those that attended the day long workshop. In order to properly assess the various areas participants, including some of Senior Services' Kinship Care families, walked around the National Archives, Clayton State University and the surrounding Morrow community. The workshop's findings will have a vital role in the Clayton County Lifelong Communities Initiative as both the county and municipalities move forward with development projects.
The new Lifelong Communities Initiative is designed to better serve older adults by allowing them to age in place. Lifelong communities will provide quality healthcare, an efficient transportation system, community based services, activities and businesses that are located in close proximity to where older adults live. Burden and his team has been instrumental in assisting communities across the country create communities that incorporate these core principles.
The WALC Institute is an educational, non-profit organization working to create healthy, connected communities that support active living and that advance opportunities for all people through walkable streets, livable cities and better built environments. The Institute inspires, teaches, connects and supports communities in their efforts to improve health and well-being through better built environments. Future walkable and liveable workshops are being planned for other local municipalities.
For additional information on the Walkable and Liveable Communities Institute visit their website at www.walklive.org.
Clayton County Host Walkability Study
County's new initiative has been created to better serve senior residents
Jonesboro-Clayton County Senior Services Department has partnered with the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), the city of Morrow and the Georgia Chapter of AARP to hold a workshop to study the county and specifically the city of Morrow's live and walk atmosphere for older residents. The study will take place on Thursday, December 1, 2011, starting with an 8:30am registration at The National Archives in Morrow, located at 5780 Jonesboro Road in Morrow, GA. Various local community stakeholders have been invited to participate in the study which will have a vital role in the Clayton County Lifelong Communities Initiative.
This interactive one day study is a tool developed by AARP and Walkable and Livable Communities Institute to serve as an active living workshop that engages communities in making their streets and neighborhoods more walkable and livable. Dan Burden, the Executive Director of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute will lead the active-living workshop that helps participants to engage in hands-on planning and design. Participants will walk the area of focus with Mr. Burden to identify concepts to advance walking and active living in Morrow and Clayton County. Findings will be posted later to the county's Lifelong Communities website.
"In Clayton County, we find that 55% of the residents think that Clayton County is an excellent to very good place to retire, 82% own their home and 86% drive their own car", said Senior Services director Mary Byrd. "We also find that only 37% of the residents received a flu shot in the last 12 months, 50% do not get adequate exercise and 35% of older adults are obese. Stats also show that 57% had misinformation about long-term care and 84% do not have long-term care insurance. By creating lifelong communities throughout the county, as our residents continue to age, we will be providing them with a foundation in which to build healthier, productive lifestyles."
The new Lifelong Communities Initiative is designed to better serve older adults by allowing them to age in place. Lifelong communities will be designed to provide quality healthcare, an efficient transportation system, community based services, activities and businesses that are located in close proximity to where older adults live. With collaboration among businesses, local leaders, organizations and government agencies, the success of the Community will be achieved.
For additional information on Lifelong communities visit atlantaregional.com/aging-resources.
Commissioner Hambrick Honors 107 Year Old County Resident
Jonesboro- Commissioner Gail B. Hambrick, District 2, was recently invited to the 107th birthday of Clayton County resident, Mrs. Maggie Brown Kidd. Mrs. Kidd was born in Stephens, Georgia, on December 7, 1904. Believed to be the county's oldest living resident, Mrs. Kidd resides in Riverdale, GA with her daughter and son-in-law.
"It is an amazing honor for me to serve as Mrs. Maggie Brown Kidd's County Commissioner. The Board of Commissioners value their senior residents and the vital role that they play in both enriching our communities and our lives", stated Hambrick. "Our seniors serve as an important reminder of our history and as an empowering link to our future. In as much as it is a blessing for Mrs. Kidd to celebrate her 107th birthday among family and friends, it is even a greater blessing for us, the residents of Clayton County, to have this beautiful jewel in our county."
Mrs. Kidd is the first resident to be inducted into the county's Centenarian Club. The club is a new initiative of the county that was created to acknowledge and pay tribute to Clayton County residents that are 100 years of age or older. Senior Services will oversee the program and inductees will receive a free Clayton County Senior Center membership with no expiration and have their photos placed on what has been named the "Centenarian Wall of Honor" to be located in various Senior Services facilities.
Growing up in a farming community Mrs. Kidd attended school up to the eighth grade. She married Willie (Dock) Kidd in 1940, continued to farm while her husband was employed out-of-state, travelling home on the weekends to see his family. Mrs. Kidd out lived her husband. When asked what she attributes to her longevity, Mrs. Kidd simply replied "trusting in the Lord and living and eating right."
Clayton County Fire and Emergency Personnel Receive
Donated Chick-fil-A Lunches
Senior Services Department delivers hot lunches to 14 county Fire Stations
Jonesboro- Fire and Emergency Services personnel in Clayton County were treated to a special delivery appreciation lunch on Tuesday, September 13, 2011. The Board of Commissioners, Senior Services, and over 100 community volunteers showed their appreciation to county fire and emergency personnel on Tuesday when they delivered the donated Chick-fil-A lunches to the county's 14 fire stations.
The appreciation lunches were given out in tribute to the men and women of Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services Department who put their lives on the line daily for county residents. The lunches were also in honor of their fellow September 11th first responders who valiantly served our nation during one of its most darkest and tragic times.
"The responses that we have received for our Fire and Emergency Services Appreciation Lunch has been overwhelming", said director of Senior Services, Mary Byrd. "Initially, we had selected three county fire stations to deliver the hot lunches to on Tuesday but with the support of the Jonesboro Chick-fil-A Dwarf House on Tara Boulevard, who is an amazing community partner in Clayton County we now have the resources to deliver to all of the county's fire station personnel that will be on call that day! The Board of Commissioners and Clayton County community have truly rallied around us for this very deserving tribute."
Senior Services loaded up the appreciation lunches from Shelnutt Inter-generational Center in Jonesboro and made their way to fire station 11 on Battle Creek for the first "meals on wheels" delivery where they were greeted by Commissioner Gail Hambrick. Commissioner Hambrick presented Fire Chief Jeff Hood with a plaque on behalf of the county and Senior Services for faithfully serving the residents of Clayton County, while volunteers chanted and sang songs of appreciation to fire personnel. With the generous donation from Chick-fil-A, along with the assistance of the Board of Commissioners and very appreciative county residents, local fire and emergency personnel received a lunch packed full of food and love.