The Center is currently asking the community for help in the form of donations and volunteers 

ATASCADERO — Located on East Mall, next to the Sunken Gardens, The Atascadero Senior Center has been helping seniors in the community since the mid-seventies. The Senior Center, which is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, is entirely volunteer-run. 

Ranger the Bodacious Beach Dog. contributed photo

“One of the main things we offer is group activities. We try to get people together to have fun, get out and socialize. Most people, I guess, know this, but one of the main contributors to things like dementia is a lack of socialization. So we really try to reach out to seniors,” said John Crippen, who shares Office Manager duties with his wife.

The Center provides things like movie groups, Tai Chi classes three mornings a week, a Bunco group on Monday, chair yoga, and a discussion group that talks about random topics weekly. The Center is also looking to start up a new walking group. 

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“One of the things we’re trying to do is, is we’re trying to get more volunteers to facilitate groups and come up with new ones. We have multiple rooms, so we can have more than one group going at a time,” continued Crippen.

The Senior Center is currently looking for people to help run the front office, which is open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday thru Friday so that people can come to the Center to sign up for groups and learn more about what is on offer. They’re also looking for people who can help maintain their building which was built in 1948. Unfortunately, The Center also recently lost its grant writer and has been having difficulty getting financial aid ever since. 

“Somebody who could do some pro-bono grant writing for us, that would be extremely helpful,” stated Crippen. “There’s a few reasons why funding has really gotten difficult. We were hurting before the COVID, but with COVID shutting us down for a while, we lost members, we lost a little bit of funding and staff, and we’re having to kind of rebuild.”

On top of providing local seniors with group activities, Atascadero Senior Center loans out assistive equipment, has access to federal, state, and local resources, provides its members with a small lending library, and partners with Meals That Connect. You can even give Ranger the Bodacious Beach Dog belly rubs on Mondays. 

To make monetary donations to the Atascadero Senior Center, you can drop off or mail checks made out to SCUI (Senior Citizens United Inc) to 5905 East Mall, Atascadero. 

To find out more, and check Atascadero Senior Centers’ calendar of events, go to their FaceBook page here.