There’s nothing like turning off the TV, getting dressed and going out.
Ever hear adult children complain, “I can never reach mum and dad. They’re always out?”
Chances are these seniors belong to a community club or two. Social groups fill the gap for connection when we retire.
There are also the community service organisations, those groups that help others. These groups are always needing new members and welcome them.
One such group is Soroptimist International Bayside Inc. Yes, it’s a mouthful, but the name says it all. The best of sisters. This group of women punch well above their weight in the community stakes. They partly do this through partnering with other community groups to create positive change.
I attended a dinner at the Wynnum Manly Leagues Club recently sponsored by Bayside Soroptimists.
It was their annual ‘Women’s Voices’. The theme of the night was Making a Difference to Women’s Homelessness.
Mainly women, but with a sprinkling of men, the evening was convivial, and the energy flowed around the room. It was abuzz.
Entertainment was provided by the harmonious voices of the Redlands Rhapsody Chorus.
The Keynote speaker, Captain Natalie Frame from The Salvation Army enlightened us with interesting facts and stories of the plight of homeless older women in the Redlands and beyond.
From a panel made up of members from local groups that help the homeless, Night Ninjas, Redland Community Centre, Rosies, Friends on the Street and Helen’s Haven, we learnt about the increasing demand on support groups in Redlands and Bayside. The panellists spoke enthusiastically and empathetically about their clients.
Of course, the evening was about awareness and fundraising.
We were asked to bring a nonperishable pantry item. These products were donated to each of the support agencies on the night.
There was a raffle where many prizes were there for the winning. I won some up-market looking black sparkly hair clips. I know a 16-year-old who’ll love them. The raffle proceeds go towards a scholarship for a female tertiary student.
Despite the levity of the theme, it was a joyful, fun, relaxed night. We were made to feel special for simply attending. Even that level of support was recognised and appreciated.
Three generations of women from my family attended and all felt uplifted by the night’s end.
So, if you’ve got time and would like to be part of something bigger than yourself, develop friendships and feel good, try a local service club.