Full Circle
Circle Center's E-Newsletter
Alone we can do so little,
together we can do so much.
- Helen Keller
In March, we couldn't imagine what the next month would look like. We certainly couldn't imagine what it would look like at the end of August, when the talk usually turns to "back to school" and a routine emerges from the lazy days of summer. Instead, we find ourselves all facing news about adapted school years, steady case numbers and a general sense of worry and confusion all these months later. It’s clear we aren’t back to “normal” as we’d hoped all those months ago. But this is the time to remain vigilant and persistent in adhering to public health guidelines.

We are staying laser focused on caring for those who come through our doors.  Daily screenings, 6 foot distancing, mask and glove wearing, constant sanitizing. This is our normal right now. And instead of spinning around all the endless what-ifs and whens and what-nows staff is focused on embracing the change and thinking creatively about how we can continue to improve and do more. How we can make a participants day better. Your support has allowed us to stay focused on the work at hand. THANK YOU!
We have continued to be amazed at the support we have received, whether through volunteering, collecting supplies from our wish-list, sending us encouraging messages, or jumping in with much needed financial support. We are grateful for the acts of support and Love in Action that we have not only been witness to, but experienced. Members of our community are reaching out, with one simple question "how can we help?"

Anthem called as soon as they heard we needed tables, YOU all signed up to volunteer for a day of clean up and painting, items from our wish-list continue to arrive weekly like little beacons of hope, and resources in our community, like Opening Minds through Art, have continued to raise their hands through outreach. The commitment of our staff is humbling - as they continue to go above and beyond to provide an elevated level of service for our participants.

These are the moments of Love in Action that will continue to sustain us. So, we ask, what does Love in Action look like to you? We have a few stories to share with you in this edition of Full Circle, and welcome you to join us in celebrating the many ways we can all practice Love in Action everyday.
Thank you Anthem!
While this Pandemic has certainly seen all of us facing new and unexpected challenges, it has also provided countless opportunities to help. We have had a long history of support from our friends at Anthem, and when they heard about the many modifications we were undergoing in order to make our program as safe as possible for our participants, they did what they do best. They jumped at the chance to help.

Thank you Anthem, for sponsoring our new tables! Their support allowed us to purchase 32 smaller tables that will enable us to accommodate more participants in our program space while adhering to the necessary 6ft physical distance protocol. We appreciate your commitment to the health and safety of our participants and our community!
Circle Center Day
We are so used to the familiar and welcome sight of volunteers at Circle Center - so grappling with the restrictions on visitors has been tough on all of us. Not only do participants and staff alike love to have volunteers - from our regularly scheduled program volunteers, to our groups that come in to set up a special day of activities - we could hardly imagine the loss that we would all feel when we had to hit pause on welcoming you through our doors. However, the list of needs have been piling up around here so we had to call in some reinforcements!

We set up a day of Volunteer Support - (following all necessary safety protocols - no participants were on site; all volunteers wore gloves and masks; all volunteers maintained a safe 6 ft distance; all program areas were thoroughly cleaned) and the same commitment to Circle Center was evident as you rolled up your sleeves and got to work. Thank you to everyone who spent the day cleaning out our storage area, assembling tables, and re-painting our newly adapted program spaces! We couldn't do what we do everyday if it wasn't for you!
Community Spotlight - Opening Minds through Art
Art for the Journey, a local Richmond non-profit has been providing therapeutic art experiences for the well-being of a wide range of members of the Richmond Community since 2014. One of their programs, Opening Minds Through Art (OMA) is designed specifically for people with dementia.

The mission of OMA is to build bridges across age and cognitive barriers through art. OMA’s failure-free program provides opportunities for creative self-expression and social engagement for people with dementia. There is a growing body of empirical evidence that creative expression improves physical and psychological well-being. It is an innovative intervention that pairs volunteers with elders in a one-on-one format. Volunteers are trained to provide social and any physical support necessary, but to empower the artists with all aesthetic choices. The pair follows OMAs carefully structured process for creating original abstract art allowing the artists to express themselves in a supportive, empowering and enjoyable social setting. The OMA art-making process promotes participants to freely express themselves, access their creativity & assert their individuality, succeed on their own, and to feel a sense of personal accomplishment.

OMA is seeking participants to enjoy their next sessions! All CDC guidelines will be followed. The sessions will take place at the Glen Allen Cultural Arts Center on September 24-25. The projects are beautifully designed, brilliantly structured and result in the creation of a frameable abstract art piece that will be yours to keep!

If you or anyone you know who is in the mid to late stages of dementia and would be interested in attending one of the sessions for a nice community outing in a supportive environment - please reach out to:
Dianne Simons, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA
(804) 828-2219 (office)
(804) 833-2811 (cell)

To learn more about Art for the Journey and their work, click HERE.
To learn more about Opening Minds Through Art and their work, click HERE.
Example of volunteer working with OMA participant (pre-COVID precautions)
An example of art work created during an OMA session.
Community Support in Action
We are so fortunate to be a part of a large number of community groups and partnerships. They've never been more important than they are right now. We have relied on these groups for support, for guidance and for leadership as we have all worked together to safely navigate these difficult waters.

One such group has always been an incredible community resource for us - the RVA Senior Resource Group - comprised of business leaders in the elder care industry. On a recent call we were sharing all of the various ways we are working to modify our programs and activities to safely operate and they said - we're in! We've been overwhelmed as they have jumped in with their support to help fund the creation of personal activity kits and necessary safety measures around the Center to the tune of $375 to date! Thank you to our friends at RVA Senior Resource Group - for your years of friendship and support! Click HERE to learn more about them and how they serve our senior community!
How Can You Show Love in Action
With all that’s going on in the world right now we are all overdue for some Love in Action.  I hope you are spending some of your hours and days thinking how you can create love in action. Or even find yourself making choices that allow you to witness it.  Goodness knows we all need more of both right now. 

And I’d like to ask you to participate in a very special kind of action by donating to our mission. Funding to keep our operations going is critical right now as we seek to continue to weather the storm of this virus and keep our doors open. Your donation is needed now more than ever as we look to continue to expand our services to meet the needs of participants and caregivers who we know desperately need us. The toll social isolation has taken on older adults and those who care for them during this pandemic has been overwhelming. Please help us continue to make a difference in their lives by donating today
Center Updates -
"Scene" and Heard around Circle Center
Enjoying some gardening on the back patio!
Our friends at Anthem also came through with a donation of 2,000 masks!
"Y’all are a lifesaver! My husband is much happier since
he has returned to the Circle Center...and so am I!"
- Participant Caregiver on her husband's return to Circle Center
Virtual Volunteering?
As we have had to modify our volunteer program and can not allow volunteers on-site during program and service hours due to health and safety protocols, we are working on some creative ways for volunteers to help us achieve our mission, albeit virtually...so stay tuned! Have ideas? Reach out to Jantrim@circlecenterva.org and let us know!

Want your own copy?
Thank you to everyone who has been sharing Full Circle with your friends and family. If you received this from a friend or family member - please sign up
 to receive our future communications directly to your inbox.
Sign up HERE. We are so happy to have you!