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Shepherd's Center of Richmond

Program Name

Program Description

Transportation Program

More than one in five adults 65 years of age and over does not drive. Transportation is recognized as one of the most important and under-addressed needs for older adults. Transportation to grocery stores and to medical and dental appointments is essential. The Shepherd’s Center of Richmond provides services to older adults in the community who, for whatever reasons, cannot provide those services for themselves. Included services are:Transportation: round-trip rides to medical & dental appointmentsGrocery Shopping: food shopping done for persons unable to shop for themselvesHandyman: minor home repairs including plumbing, electrical, and carpentry These cost-free services are available to anyone in the community who is age 60 or over. It is not necessary to be a Shepherd’s Center member to receive services. A client who needs help may call the office and speak with an office volunteer, who will match the client with a volunteer driver (handyman, etc.) who lives near the client. Each year, roughly 85 volunteer drivers, using their own cars, fill over 1,300 round-trip ride requests. Drivers almost always stay with the client at the doctor’s office, and often stop with the client at a pharmacy on the way home to fill a prescription. The personal satisfaction derived from regularly providing transportation to clients who could not otherwise make the trip is tremendous. One volunteer driver insists on using the word “friends” rather than “clients”. This driver has routinely taken people to medical appointments and grocery shopping for more than 15 years. Moreover, volunteers made hundreds of Friendly Visits or Calls and many minor home repairs last year in response to requests.

Lifelong Learning Program

The Center's Lifelong Learning Program consists of the Open University (OU), Lunch and Life (LAL) and Group Travel, all geared to those who are around 50 and older. OU is offered at two locations (St. Luke Lutheran and First Presbyterian Churches) on Mondays and Thursdays, for three 8-week sessions a year in the fall, winter, and spring. Instructors are well-qualified volunteers, often current or retired faculty from area universities. A wide variety of subjects are offered in literature, history, the arts, health, foreign languages, current events, Feldenkrais and yoga. Each OU day includes a lunch speaker, usually a local celebrity, who presents a talk on a topic of special interest (free attendance all year long to lunch speakers is a benefit of our $25 annual membership). Each term averages 400 registrants, and more than 70 people give their time and expertise as teachers, hospitality team members, and organizers to make it all happen. The members of the Shepherd’s Center Education Committee are completely responsible for planning and carrying out the myriad details of each term. Many people have attended the Open University for more than 10 years, citing the friendships and the continued learning as keeping them happy and eager to return each year. LAL is a lecture series, offered on Wednesdays, the first four weeks of each OU session and is presented as a gift to the community in partnership with St. Mary Catholic Church. It is free and open to the public. No TSCOR membership or tuition is required. Group trips, organized by our Travel Committee, are offered 2-3 times a year, and provide opportunities for both learning and fellowship. Lifelong Learning offers opportunities for intellectual challenge and social interaction, important factors as we grow older. Our program is the best bargain for quality, lifelong learning in Richmond. The $45 member tuition covers all the classes during the 8 weeks and membership is only $25 for the year. You can’t beat that!! Come join us!