News & Announcements

Director’s Message August 2020

Hi Everyone! I say Happy August. August has always been Volunteer Appreciation Month at the Center. So, even though we are still mostly apart, I want to thank each of our wonderful volunteers who are the Heart and Soul of the Center. You make it what it is. THANK YOU!!!

It’s mid-July as I’m writing this and thinking about how long it has been since we have all been together. Handshakes and hugs were allowed, people could sit 6 to a table, we could see each other’s faces. Well, times have changed and for everyone’s health and safety, we have changed too. We miss you, and hope you and your families are doing well. We are happy to have started a very gradual reopen process that will take months to complete, but, we have a start. As you know, I’m one for silver linings and finding some positives in even the hardest situations.

For many the last 5 months have been extremely difficult and the challenges continue. I was reading an article in the AARP magazine by Sari Harrar on happiness in hard times. Countless researchers have found pursuing and finding happiness in hard times gives us the resilience to get through it. “We need to focus on happiness more now, not less”. “The happiness that helps in great difficulty is realistic. It recognizes fears and anxieties. It looks for meaning. It nourishes and sustains us”. Happiness is not necessarily “fun and laughs” but “positivity, a mix of realism, hope and compassion”. “When you pay attention to how you shape your life right now, you won’t feel victimized by what’s going on.” The experts suggest some ways to help cultivate happiness. (1) Play some songs of hope and happiness; Beautiful Day, What a Wonderful World, Happy, Here Comes the Sun, Somewhere Out There; (2) Connect – Human connection is the chicken soup of kindness, good relationships keep us happier and healthier; (3) Move and breathe – physical activity can boost happiness by reducing stress; (4) Take a moment to savor a wonderful moment, a sunrise or a cherished memory; and (5) People that keep themselves physically, mentally, and socially active focus more on the positive. So, while this is a tough time these tips can help us. Remember the power of that smile for you and all those that see it.

While we are sad we can’t have our traditional in person auction gala, we are excited that we will be doing a fantastic virtual AL Hovland Memorial $pring for $eniors, $eptember 13th Auction Gala. Silver lining, because of the virus we have learned new skills and a way to have our biggest fundraiser of the year which will be exciting, fun, and profitable and allow more guests to participate from anywhere in the country. Please see separate article. We need everyone’s help and support. Get September 13th at 6 pm on your calendars.

We hope that as the weeks move forward we can slowly add more inside and outside services. We are all tired of the “NO’S and YOU HAVE TO’S, but until there is a proven cure and vaccine, all the protocols and safety rules must continue. We will continue our pick-up and delivery lunch services for the foreseeable future. See the calendar for available services now.

Love and remember to smile,


August 2020 Newsletter

Today’s Tip

Research shows that reading can keep your mind and brain active. Pick up something you enjoy or even an audible book-listening to a good book counts as reading too! What are your favorite reads? Please let me know at Reading out loud to yourself can help break up periods of silence if you live alone.

Laughter, it’s said, is the best medicine. And there is a lot of evidence that laughter does lots of good things for us. This has been documented since the 1300’s! It reduces pain and allows us to tolerate discomfort. It lowers blood sugar. It improves relationships and your outlook. Watch a funny video, TV show or radio program. has endless amounts of comedy to pursue from stand-up comedians or funny cat videos. Bookmark the sites you love. Comedy is a great distraction and can take your mind off COVID-19!

What’s outside your window? Mind your view. How does it change? Does it stay the same? We have had some really nice spring weather to take notice of. Keep an active journal about things you notice outside. Bird watch, People watch. Draw a picture of your view every day. Wave to people! Right now it’s important to connect any way we can with people. Waving is friendly and germ free!

Do you have computer access? Explore the world wide web! Look up your old addresses, schools ,neighborhoods on google earth or websites. Search old friends or clubs that you have been involved in. Many schools have alumni clubs. It can be fun to reminisce about previous places and remember the good memories. Research  a destination you would love to visit! If you do not have a computer, can you write a letter to a friend or family member? Mail is one of our timeless ways to stay in touch and still reliable!

Try to do something creative today! Write a poem or start a positive journal (write down good things about the day…maybe at least two observations?) Maybe watch a video on how to learn calligraphy, paint, draw… even doodle! Coloring can also be therapeutic and relaxing.

Look to the past in general and to your past experiences. Get hope from your past and your resilience. What other challenges did you face and how did you overcome them? There are plenty of events to consider from weather related (hurricane, mudslide, earthquake) to national events like 9/11 or the 2008 financial meltdown/recession. You made it! You are stronger because of it. Know that you will get through this. Remind yourself of your resilience!

Limit your intake of news. Choose one source, like KING 5, Seattle Times or one of the national channels for example, and decide how much time to spend with it each day. Try your best to stick with that plan. My plan currently is reading online news sources in the morning for any updates-10 to 15 minutes on national news then again before dinner for 15 to 30 minutes for local news and weather. This provides me enough time to stay updated and not get overwhelmed! Please decide what you are comfortable with and adjust as necessary.

Director’s Message July 1, 2020

Ballard NW Senior Center Update

July 1, 2020

Hello Everyone.  I hope you and your family are doing well.  March seems like a lifetime ago when we were all together.  So much has happened.  This has certainly been an unprecedented, scary, and lonely time, but also one of innovation, new ways of communicating and doing things and hope for a better, if different, new normal whatever that will be.  We can’t wait to welcome you back very slowly and with a gradual reopen of services.  This all depends on meeting the different phases and guidelines and the course the Virus takes in the coming weeks.

Ballard has always been known as the friendly center where all are welcomed, supported and appreciated. The last few weeks of protests and demonstrations over racial injustice and police brutality have brought a needed reality to our nation. At Sound Generations and Ballard NW Senior Center, we embrace the belief that racial and other social identities should be respected and affirmed. We don’t tolerate racism on any level and we commit to work for a better future.

Just as the Covid-19 arrived we welcomed new Social Worker Jennifer. She has been making phone calls, writing tips and quotes for lunch and our website, handing out lunches and planning for all the activities on reopening. We now welcome our new Program Coordinator Lisa. She is anxious to provide some wonderful programs for you all. Some of you have met her when picking up a lunch or saying hi. Welcome to you both. We have two new great team members to join Lori, Carolyn, and me.

Our plan is to start welcoming back participants for one-on-one services the week of July 6th . This does not mean that the doors are open and all our services have returned. First, we know that many are not ready to venture out and return to the center and some won’t be until there is a vaccine or proven treatment. There are protocols that must be followed by everyone on entering the building and strict control of numbers of participants. Masks, physical distancing and gloves must be observed. First to be offered will be services like social work appointments, foot care, legal and financial counseling, and dental hygiene. Some small exercise or other classes of 5 or less participants may be offered outside. No inside activities will be allowed for some weeks.  We do not think inside Community Dining will occur until late August or early September. Chef Lori and her wonderful helpers Jessica, Carol and Laurie, will continue to prepare their delicious take-out/ pick-up lunches and Pete and Katie will continue to deliver to housebound members.

What about our other activities? We will see where the road takes us. We had to cancel 2 rainbow bingos, rummage sales, bingo, Wednesday night dinners, and on it went. We have rescheduled our annual auction to a virtual event on September 13th. See separate article. We have taken a huge hit financially, with very little revenue coming in to offset the expenses of providing services, meals, building maintenance, etc.  Any and all donations would be greatly appreciated..

Can’t wait to see you!


Carlye, Center Director

July 2020 Newsletter

Director’s Message April 30, 2020

Ballard NW Senior Center Update

April 30, 2020

I love Helen Keller’s quote “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”. And, together we are, even though the center has been closed to onsite inside activities since March 16th. We are the Ballard NW Senior Center family. Together we are accomplishing a lot and staying connected. Here are some examples:

Chef Lori, Jessica and Biscuit Queen Carol are preparing delicious and nutritious lunches for take-out/ pick-up at the front door Monday through Thursday with delivery by Katie and Pete in the immediate area on Tuesday and Thursday.  Carlye, Lisa and Jennifer love to see our regular participants and some new friends who come to get lunches. And, we are together, sharing greetings, news, checking on how each other are doing, listening and sharing the good and the not so good, and giving kudos to Lori and crew from the participants and all from at least 6 feet apart and in masks and gloves.

New social worker Jennifer is busy doing phone consultations and check-ins, providing daily quotes and tips to put in the lunch bags and on the website, organizing the kids who provide the art work for the bags, all the while planning for all the groups and activities and getting the Friend to Friend program ready to restart once we reopen.

Carolyn made beautiful cloth masks to hand out to participants and all are busy connecting people and applauding as the writing group meets by conference call, the red hats socialize, the conversations group meets virtually, and now we are connecting Bastyr clients with their center docs, and phone friends are enjoying the chats.

All the while, center work gets done, reports and grants are written, the building is sanitized regularly, we work with, Sound Generations, city and county governments who have been wonderful in the support of the centers and check on our folk, involve the board and on it goes all the time making plans for the gradual and slow roll out to reopen.

The new target date to slowly reopen the center is June 1st, though it could be later. It all depends on how the number of cases come down and what the orders are from the state. Since our population is the hardest hit with this virus we must be careful and do it right. More on the how and when in future days and weeks.

I’m still concerned about people being connected. It is so important to have social contact. So, while practicing social distancing and following all the rules stay connected with family and friends anyway you can by internet, social media, letters and the old phone. We are a community, we are together, and we will get through this.

See you soon

Carlye, Center director

Download Letter April 30, 2020