United Way spotlight: The Center for Creative Living

Updated: Oct. 2, 2020 at 4:53 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Over one thousand meals are week are literally rolling out of Lawton’s Center for Creative Living. It’s keeping hundreds of senior citizens fed during the pandemic, but it does come with a price tag.

The kitchen staff line up the to go boxes each week day. Working as a team, they load them up and bag them for curbside or home delivery

“It’s a good meal and I don’t have to cook," said Ray Bruner as he picked up meals for himself and his neighbors.

These meals have become the primary mission for The Center for Creative Living during the pandemic. A building that pre-covid was a hub for senior activities is now mostly empty as much of the vulnerable population remains isolated due to health concerns.

“I know several people who have trouble just making a sandwich at their home. It may not be that they are necessarily low income, it may be that they just can’t physically do it,” said Executive Director Lorene Miller.

While the food is greatly appreciated, the friendly faces of the volunteers often means much more during the pandemic.

“It’s been rough. Staying in the house by yourself. Nowhere to go, nothing to do. You need somebody to talk to. It kind of wears on you," said Raymond Gates as he picked up a meal. He added “it’s good to see a smiling face.”

The Center for Creative Living has relied on funding from grants, state aid and an emergency contribution from the United Way of Southwest Oklahoma.

“It’s individuals taking their hard earned money and just a little piece... saying here’s me contributing to make my community better," said Frank Myers with United Way of Southwest Oklahoma.

According to Miller, “We’re reaching all spectrums of senior citizens. Not just low-income, not just homebound.”

The United Way of Southwest Oklahoma’s fundraising campaign is underway right now. It’s your chance to help all of the partnering agencies like The Center for Creative Living.

If you would like to donate, you can go to the United Way of SWOK’s website at www.uwswok.org, or find them on Facebook.

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