At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, several volunteers gathered together looking to provide support to the Mountain View Buddhist Temple’s senior population. Over the last year, we’ve learned that our Seniors greatly miss seeing and conversing with each other. They have enough food, essential supplies, and are able to generally get along fine. However, like most of us, they really miss spending time with their friends and loved ones.
The Senior Outreach Committee is focused on connecting and engaging our Temple Seniors through the four main programs listed below.
Super Senior Echo Articles Team
The Super Senior Echo Articles Team is headed by Jean Shimoguchi. This team conducts in-depth interviews with our Temple Seniors for inclusion in our monthly newsletter aimed at telling stories about the elders of our Temple. This month, we are featuring an article about Shigeru and Kazuko Tashiro, and we can look forward to more articles in the coming months as well. Super Senior authors are Sterling Makishima, Ricky Chu, Joan Aoki, Marie Ochi-Jacobs and Jean Shimoguchi.
Senior Care Package Team
The Senior Care Package Team compiles and sends quarterly care packages to our Temple Seniors consisting of puzzles, snacks, activities and small gifts that aim to engage and delight. Depending on our standing with COVID-19, the team delivers packages through contactless in-person drop-offs or via postal mail. Our Seniors can look forward to their next package arriving around Hanamatsuri. The Senior Care Package Team is led by Leslie Imai and a team of dedicated volunteers including Debbie Ho, Tracey Mukoyama, Sharon Tsukahara, Kia Yamamoto and Linda Uyechi.
Senior Activities Suport Team
One of the most active Senior Teams has been our Senior Activities Support Team. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, our Seniors would meet weekly on Thursdays to spend time together doing different activities from crafts and games to music and exercise classes. With the onset of the pandemic, this was no longer an option. Susan Yuen and Linda Uyechi started hosting meetings on Zoom and creating space for Seniors to continue their activities, first with weekly taiko, then with Sing Along and an Exercise class and most recently, they’ve added monthly Bingo to the mix. The Senior Activities Support Team, which has expanded to include Sterling Makishima, Teri Hirota and Amy Arakaki, runs each of these Zoom sessions.
Pandemic Pals Team
While some of our Seniors feel very comfortable on Zoom, there are still many who prefer to stay away from technology. The Pandemic Pals Team, led by Elise Fujimoto, matches Temple members with Seniors to provide connection and engagement on a monthly basis through postal mail and phone calls.
Questions or Can Help?
If you are interested in participating in any of these activities, or have any questions, please reach out by sending email to Sangha@mvbuddhisttemple.org
Senior Outreach Committee