***NEW ANNOUNCEMENT ***
WCASC is proud to announce that we have now surpassed distributing OVER 250,000 + MEALS to our seniors!
That’s right! Since COVID-19 forced our closure in March 2020, we’ve sourced, sorted, organized, and distributed MORE THAN ______ TIMES the food we served the year prior to hundreds of seniors in need in our community!
In addition to our ongoing Food Distribution program, we also continue to offer virtual programming and support to our seniors in many different ways. Among many other things, we’ve successfully raised significant capital funds to enable us to make several improvements and upgrades inside of our building including installation of all new floors, state of the art air purifiers, automatic no-touch door openers
(Just wave your hand!), plexiglass dividers, and automatic no-touch lighting, sinks, soap dispensers, and bathroom fixtures.
You’ve also seen our recent wonderful news of the creation of our new “Corner Cabinet” which will serve as our Center’s permanent food distribution center!
COVID-19’s Omicron variant’s significant spike in Chester County that still has us in the “High” transmission category has caused us to delay
our previously hoped for reopening but we are still hoping to welcome you back soon.
STAY TUNED TO OUR WCASC FACEBOOK PAGE!
The October newsletter is posted! In addition to the newsletter, please be sure to check out our WCASC Facebook page for our regular updates as well. There you’ll see 3 very recent great pieces of news…..
- We’ve now surpassed the 170,000 meals distributed mark since March 2020. That’s a WHOLE lot of food that has helped nourish the hundreds and hundreds of seniors we continue to serve weekly via our drive-through program every Wednesday from 9:30-11:30 AM.
- For the 4th consecutive year, WCASC has been selected as one of the 2021 Top-Rated Nonprofits by “GreatNonprofits”! Many thanks to all of our partners and friends who help us be what we are here in our community – we couldn’t do it without you!
- Our latest capital project has just been completed……we’ve finished the construction of our new “Corner Cabinet” which now serves as our Center’s permanent food distribution center for our seniors! Many thanks to our partners who helped with that too – Chester County Food Bank, O’Rourke & Sons, Steel, The Fund for Women and Girls, and Betty Strode.
While we remain closed to “normal business” as the County Health Department has recommended to us during the current COVID-19 metrics, we continue to hope we will be able to welcome you back soon. Stay healthy Friends!
STAY TUNED TO OUR WCASC FACEBOOK PAGE!
Vaccine Location Update
The county is encouraging all those looking to get a vaccine to check local providers including pharmacies and health systems.
Local Pharmacies and Pharmacy Chains that have started offering vaccines are as follows…
Good Neighbor Pharmacies
There are also a number of local health systems that are currently administering vaccines, and include…
Main Line Health
Penn Medicine (Chester County Hospital)
Tower Health (Phoenixville Hospital and Brandywine Hospital)
Please call your local locations to see what they have to offer. While they may not have them today, we encourage you to check back with them as frequently as possible.
Due to the current inclement weather, we are postponing our normal Wednesday Food Distribution Program to this coming Friday, February 5th at our usual time of 9:30 AM – 12 Noon.
Important Contact Numbers
VITA Tax Prep Service Hotline (Same as AARP service here) 610-380-9099
Emergency Food Locations
West Chester Food Cupboard www.westchesterfoodcupboard.org 610-344-3175
Chester County Food Bank www.chestercountyfoodbank.org 610-873-6000
Lord’s Pantry www.lordspantryofdowningtown.org 610-873-1149
Important County Offices… PLEASE ALSO GO TO www.chesco.org
Chester County Department of Aging Services 610-344-6350
Chester County Department of Health 610-344-6225
Chester County Emergency Services 610-344-5000
(This is not 9-1-1, Emergency Services provides safety and security information and updates to Chester County Residents)
Social Security Office 1-800-306-3216
Office of the Mayor 610-696-1452
Information and Assistance Offices
CC APPRISE Hotline www.chesco.org/477/Apprise-Medicare-Counseling 610-344-5004
Medicare Hotline 1-800-633-4227
ROVER Community Transportation Services 484-696-3854
Sen. Andrew Dinniman’s Office (Rent/Prop Tax Rebate Help) 610-692-2112
Rep. Carolyn Comitta’s Office (Rent/Prop Tax Rebate Help) 610-696-4990
IMPORTANT WEBSITES TO CHECK FOR UPDATES CONCERNING POSSIBLE CLOSURES OR DEVELOPMENTS
Our Senior Center, along with all of those in Chester County, remains closed until future notice in order to protect the health and safety of the seniors we serve. While WCASC is working hard on several needs for our future re-opening at a yet undetermined time, please know that it requires a great deal of financial resources as well as prior approvals from both the County and State Departments of Aging. In the meantime, we continue to do everything possible in our community to source and distribute food to seniors in need as well as to help with information and referrals. Please continue to wear your masks, wash your hands, and stay healthy.
Please be aware that all Chester County Senior Centers are in regular communication with the Chester County Department of Aging Services as well as staying abreast of the state of PA Aging Information and, even when Chester County “goes green”, our center will not be re-opening at the same time.
While our usual operations remain closed, we continue to provide food to seniors in need and to help with essential needs and referrals. Please continue to check our Facebook page for updates and, if you haven’t seen it yet, our most recent newsletter can easily accessed on the opening page of our website at www.wcseniors.org. There you can find updates, helpful links, recipes, and more information. STAY HEALTHY & SAFE FRIENDS!!!
Due to the world health status, our Senior Center IS CLOSED AS OF FRIDAY, 3/13/20 at 3 PM UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
Please check our WCASC Facebook Page for updates on status as that will now be our main source of communication to everyone. You can easily access the page via the Facebook icon on the top right of our website at: www.wcseniors.org.
On our Facebook page, our notice re COVID-19 posted on 3/12/20 contains a letter which, at the end, includes a full page of helpful resources that may be needed for food, Medicare & Medicaid, and many other County and local resources.
STAY SAFE AND HEALTHY!
March 11, 2020
TO ALL WEST CHESTER AREA SENIOR CENTER (WCASC) & “SECOND READING” I & II BOOK STORE MEMBERS, VOLUNTEERS, PARTNERS, GUESTS, & STAFF:
The health and safety of our members, volunteers, and staff are our primary responsibility and concern. The CDC and our Chester County Health Department have made it very clear that individuals age 60 and older are at a higher risk for contracting Coronavirus (COVID-19) so we are writing to you today to update you on our organization’s proactive steps we are taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to the extent possible.
First and foremost, please know that our Board of Directors’ officers and Staff leadership met at length to review our entire operation, programs, and services and we are strongly focused on doing everything possible to protect all of our partners, particularly our seniors that we serve daily. Our plan has NOT been developed out of worry or fear but, instead, with our community’s health and welfare as our top priority.
Where are we getting our information? WCASC is following the news and guidance set forth by the CDC, the Chester County Dept. of Health, and the published information of many senior centers in the first and most affected areas of our nation. We receive daily updates, e-mails, and direction from these agencies and we also proactively seek new information daily.
How are we Planning? Our Board of Directors’ Executive Committee and our Staff met at length this week, even as we were already practicing some new safety measures, so that we could determine our best course of action. The group will continue to monitor and manage the situation as it continues to develop and we will provide updates as appropriate.
Communication is Key! We will make every effort to provide updates in as many avenues as possible in order to reach our very broad base of partners – many of whom do not have regular access to computers or even transportation. We will strive to inform as many people as possible by way of our website at www.wcseniors.org, our WCASC Facebook page (directly accessible via our website), group communications (i.e. book store volunteers, kitchen volunteers, etc.), as well as by our voicemail system and even posting updates on our facility and book store doors. PLEASE KNOW ANY OF THIS PLAN IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY TIME WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE; EVERY EFFORT WILL BE MADE TO COMMUNICATE AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.
While we will strive to have someone available to answer WCASC’s phones for as long as we are able during our operating hours of Monday through Friday, 8 AM – 3 PM, but please know that could change at any time and we have a limited number of available lines to call in/out so we will make our best efforts to keep our voicemail announcement and website as updated as possible. Please know we will not be able to speak to each individual personally
The Current Plan’s Big Picture: Please see the information on the next page which details each of our major programs and services so that you can more easily check on your specific areas of interest. Again, please note that this information is effective beginning March 11, 2020, but it may be changed or updated at any time without prior notice always being possible.
WEST CHESTER AREA SENIOR CENTER (WCASC) & SECOND READING BOOK STORE I & II PLAN TO PROACTIVELY MANAGE COVID-19 AS OF MARCH 11, 2020.
- PLEASE NOTE THIS PLAN IS SUBJECT TO UPDATES AND CHANGES AT ANY TIME AND WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE.
- PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT: www.wcseniors.org AND/OR OUR WCASC FACEBOOK PAGE VIA THE DIRECT LINK ON OUR WEBSITE’S OPENING PAGE.
- ADDITIONALLY, WE WILL STRIVE TO KEEP OUR WCASC VOICEMAIL SYSTEM AS UPDATED AS POSSIBLE WITH CHANGES & NEW DEVELOPMENTS AS WELL AS WITH RESOURCES AND CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THE MOST ESSENTIAL SERVICES.
As of March 11, 2020, WCASC plans to operate as usual through the end of business on Thursday, March 12, and then the following is our plan for programs and services as listed with their corresponding dates:
BREAKFAST: Usual Breakfast will be served through Thursday, March 12 at 9:30 AM.
Beginning on Friday, March 13 — AND AS STAFF & VOLUNTEERS ARE AVAILABLE, ONLY CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST will be served between 8-9:30 AM. We will provide only
pre-packaged items such as yogurt, cereal bars, and fruit as available – likely citrus and/or other items that can be “single served” – no cut fruit, etc. Prices will be listed as soon as we source a supply of the items but will be in the under $4 range and may be a la carte.
LUNCH: Since we partner with the Chester Count Dept. of Aging Services (CCDAS) as well as their contracted food provider for our daily lunch program, we will continue to serve lunch at 12 Noon Monday through Friday for as long as WCASC remains open and for as long as CCDAS and the food provider continue this service. Lunch will remain the same voluntary $2 donation.
APPRISE/MEDICARE/MEDICAID APPOINTMENTS: We have completed appointments that were previously scheduled up to the current time; we have already cancelled any appointments for March 11, and this week we will be CANCELLING ALL SCHEDULED APPOINTMENTS THROUGH THE END OF MARCH. We will continue to evaluate our plan as we move forward to April.
TAX PREPARATION/AARP SERVICES: Our very dedicated AARP volunteers, most of whom are seniors themselves, will complete their appointments as scheduled through this coming Friday, March 13. ANY & ALL TAX APPOINTMENTS SCHEDULED FROM MARCH 16 THROUGH THE END OF TAX SEASON 2020 WILL BE CANCELLED THIS WEEK. Please see the next page of listed contacts and resources for who to contact to ask for assistance.
COMPUTER LAB: Will remain open as usual through March 12 but will then be
CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE EFFECTIVE FRIDAY, MARCH 13.
SECOND READING BOOKSTORES I & II: We plan to keep both stores open as usual through this Friday, March 13 as volunteers are available and then we will CLOSE BOTH BOOKSTORES AT 5 PM on FRIDAY, 3/13 UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE as we continue to monitor the situation.
MONTHLY FOOD BOX PROGRAM & PET FOOD PROGRAM: This Friday, March 13 is our next Monthly Food Box & Pet Food Distribution Day. PLEASE PICK UP YOUR FOOD ASAP!!
ALL ‘REGULAR” WCASC CLASSES AND PROGRAMS WILL RUN AS USUAL THROUGH AND INCLUDING THURSDAY, MARCH 12.
BEGINNING FRIDAY, MARCH 13, ALL PROGRAMS (except those as detailed above) WILL BE CANCELLED AND SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
While not a full list here, please know that this INCLUDES CANCELLING:
ALL EXERCISE, LANGUAGES, CLUBS, GRAND FRIENDS, EDUCATIONAL & COMPUTER/TECHNOLOGY CLASSES/APPTS., LECTURES, ANYTHING WITH LOCAL UNIVERSITIES/STUDENTS/SCHOOLS, etc., ALL CHORUS/DRUMMING/BAND, AND ANY/ALL OTHER SCHEDULED ACTIVITIES/GUESTS/EVENTS/MEETINGS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
WCASC will remain open for our regular operating hours of Monday through Friday,
8 AM – 3 PM, to the extent possible and for as long as healthy staff and volunteers are available and can safely be here for the limited things as detailed above, cleaning, answering phones, providing updates, continued planning, etc.
Additionally, our Board of Directors and Staff Leadership will remain in close contact to continue monitoring and planning, to provide updates, and to be as best prepared as possible when we determine it is safe to resume partial or full operations.
PLEASE SEE THE BELOW LIST OF INFORMATION, CONTACTS, RESOURCES, ETC. PROVIDED IN OUR EFFORT TO CONTINUE HELPING WITH AS MANY THINGS AS POSSIBLE DURING THIS TIME. AS QUESTIONS/NEEDS ARISE, WE WILL CONTINUE TO ADD TO THIS LIST AS APPROPRIATE.
THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH for your dedication to our West Chester Area Senior Center and Second Reading Book Stores.
We appreciate your joining with us to do everything possible to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and to maintain the health of our greater community, particularly our seniors who are at the very heart of our MISSION we strive to serve each day.