Success Story: Dependent on Independence

Like many older adults in their mid-70’s, Melvina has hung up her car keys for good. Without her car, getting herself to the grocery store, a friend’s house, or the pharmacy is more difficult than ever. Instead, she’s often stuck at home alone, limited to passing her time in front of the television.

However, thanks to the support of Redi-Wheels transportation, Melvina is able to come to our Fair Oaks Adult Activity Center four days a week to volunteer, participate in fitness classes, and benefit from our nutrition programs.

Since coming to the center, Melvina has become more proactive about her health. At home, she finds it a huge chore to walk to the market and lug bags of groceries miles back home, not to mention the cost of buying fresh fruits and vegetables over processed foods. At Fair Oaks, Melvina enjoys healthy breakfast and lunch amongst the new friends she’s made. She also participates in the center’s brown bag program—sponsored by Second Harvest Food Bank—where she can take home grocery staples and organic vegetables from the center’s on-site garden. In addition to nutritious meals, Melvina is also a regular at our Strong for Life fitness classes.

Melvina and the other older adults depend on Fair Oaks to feel valued and stay connected with their community. Whether welcoming participants as they arrive, sorting files for the administrative office, or managing the “Tiendita” (little store) that sells donated goods to benefit the center, Melvina’s volunteer hours gives her a strong sense of purpose and reduces her risk of loneliness and depression. To Melvina, Fair Oaks is her “second home” and the other participants are like her family.

Thanks to our partnership with Redi-Wheels, older adults like Melvina have the opportunity to rediscover their independence at Fair Oaks and live happier, healthier lives.

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