Faced with immediate isolation and uncertainty in March 2020, many older adults turned to their local senior centers and other community facilities for help. Cathedral City Senior Center (CCSC) was one such organization that rose to the challenges of service in a new virtual age. CCSC launched its “at-home” programming for the valley’s aging population. To maintain and enhance this robust resource, the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation awarded a $25,000 Coachella Valley Spotlight grant to CCSC in January 2021.
“With no end to the pandemic in sight, we knew we couldn’t stand by and wait; we had to implement programs that could serve seniors immediately but in a different way,” said Geoff Corbin, Executive Director of CCSC. “The grant from the Berger Foundation will help extend and expand the virtual Cathedral City Senior Center we have created.”
Initially board funded, CCSC@Home, quickly became a high-priority project to combat the harmful effects of senior isolation in its infancy. Funding supports local instructors, subscriptions to outsourced national programming made free to senior members and more. Online classes and workshops include painting, yoga, meditation, learning to Zoom, cooking, Spanish instruction, conversation groups and many others.
“The Cathedral City Senior Center responded quickly to the needs of its community’s seniors,” said Catharine Reed, Vice President of Charitable Programs for the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation. “Programming there continues to address the concerns of loneliness and is making an important impact in the lives of seniors.”
Founded in 1980, CCSC addresses aging issues for the City’s senior citizens. CCSC generally serves two primary groups. One includes people who are doing well in their golden years and benefit from activities that foster well-being. The other group includes people who are facing any number of challenges, such as financial stress or food insecurity; the Center helps these residents with solutions. For both groups, socialization is always key, and during the pandemic this has been one of the greatest challenges of not only Cathedral City, but of the world.
“CCSC@Home is now a proven best practice to provide outreach, exercise and education, plus provide information and referrals from a friendly face,” said Jerry Upham, General Manager of Gulf California Broadcast Company, which owns and operates KESQ News Channel 3 and KPSP CBS Local 2.
Through the Coachella Valley Spotlight partnership with the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation and News Channel 3, Cathedral City Senior Center was featured on News Channel 3 programming, in public service announcements and on kesq.com throughout January. For more information about the organization, located at 37171 West Buddy Rogers Ave., Cathedral City, visit www.theccsc.org or call 760-321-1548.