As you walk through the front door of the activity center, you are introduced to a vibrant environment where seniors can do anything from putting puzzles together to shaking their hips in a Zumba class. Our center is more than a building; it is a place where older adults come to socialize, play games, exercise, enjoy lunch and have a good time!
2018 was a year of growth for the activity center and in addition to incorporating new programs and events, we increased overall participation significantly. Compared to 2017, in 2018 the Bulverde Spring Branch Activity Center:
- Experienced a 19% increase in fitness participation
- Delivered close to 15,000 meals to homebound seniors through our Meals on Wheels program (5% increase)
- Increased overall activity participation by 11.4%
- Served 13% more meals through our on-site fellowship lunch program
Due to increased partnerships and donations, we were able to offer several educational sessions with topics including Brain Health, Insurance, and Diabetes Management. Our members and community seniors received information through a variety of vendors at the Active Aging Health Fair, as well as free vision screening, massages, genetic screenings, and glucose and blood pressure checks.
Other educational opportunities included a monthly Social Media class where attendees enhanced their knowledge of their computer, iPhone, Android and social media outlets. A 12-week Art Class was a big hit and is something we will incorporate into our regular scheduling for 2019.
Health & Wellness
Members walked thousands of miles during an 8-week Walk Across Texas challenge. This spurred an interest in forming a walking group that prepares members for our upcoming 20th Annual Run for the Hills 5k/10K. On-site, we added a gym training class and updated our gym with some needed, new equipment. Despite adverse weather conditions, we had more than 300 registered runners in the 19th Annual Run for the Hills which this year included a 1 mile walk/run and free pre/post-race massages.
We enjoyed several potlucks throughout the year, some with specific themes and all with delicious food and great company. Our Community Thanksgiving Luncheon was a great opportunity to meet and talk to members, community partners and first responders. In March we organized our first ever Un’Wine’D event; a successful fundraiser with wine tasting, good food, live music and a silent auction! In July, we celebrated the 10th Annual Style Show with fashion, themed tables, and delicious food. Daily social activities included Bingo, a variety of card games, wood working group, craft classes and other stimulating activities.
2018 was a great year but we could never have accomplished all this without help from our community. Our program was able to recruit support and donations to help a disabled senior get an electric pole installed and service to his trailer where he had been living without power through the cold winter last year. Another senior was overwhelmed when a microwave was delivered to her. We heard that she had no way to heat her meals and once the need was shared, a microwave was donated. These service success stories are the reasons that the staff and volunteers work for the center.
Through partnerships and donations, we delivered blankets, pet food and Christmas gifts to homebound seniors and provided our on-site seniors with gift cards, blankets and pet items. We are happy to announce that our bus is now transporting seniors to and from the center four days/week and we hope to spread this information to community members who would like to join us but are unable to drive.
The activity center’s staff members and volunteers continuously strive to facilitate the center’s mission, and their hard work to increase awareness of our services within the community is not in vain. In February 2018, the Bulverde Spring Branch Chamber of Commerce presented the center with the “2017 Business of the Year” award. As the community becomes more aware of center services we are seeing an increase those requesting service, in collaborative partnerships and other types of support. We have a great network of social service organizations and partners in our area that work together in order to serve the most fragile in our community and we are thankful for a community that is continually growing and striving for improvement.