Council on Aging is honored to be the recipient of a Clinton County Community Champions (C4) Award. The awards, presented by the Wilmington-Clinton County Chamber of Commerce and the Clinton County Convention and Visitors Bureau, highlight the stories of the Clinton County citizens, employers and employees, and organizations who are making an impact in Clinton County, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over 70 nominations were submitted in the following categories: Business, Citizen, Education, Healthcare, Non-profit and Youth. According to the chamber, nominees exemplified one or more of the following, during the course of the current year:
- Exceptional commitment to the community by helping with a special project and/or ongoing activities
- Unselfish leadership, creativity, cooperation, and hard work in the service to others
- Inspiration to others as a role model
COA submitted nominations in two categories: the non-profit category for COA’s COVID-19 Comfort Meal Program, and the individual category for Donna Slone Gumbert, a key partner in helping COA meet the needs of area seniors during the pandemic. Both nominations were announced as winners Nov. 24 during a Facebook Live event.
Council on Aging’s COVID-19 Comfort Meal Program
Council on Aging’s COVID-19 Comfort Meal Program has been providing restaurant meals to low-income seniors since the start of the pandemic. COA has partnered with nine area restaurants, including Beaugard’s Southern Bar B Que, to provide the meals. The program brings comfort through food to seniors who feel isolated and alone during the pandemic, and it also provides an economic boost to restaurants that have been financially impacted by the pandemic. To date, more than 47,000 meals have been delivered to older adults in COA’s service area.
“Partnering with locally-owned restaurants is a win-win during the pandemic,” said Council on Aging’s CEO Suzanne Burke. “Not only are we bringing good, local food to older adults who’ve been homebound during the pandemic, but we’re also able to support an industry that has been hit hard by the pandemic.”
As the pandemic continues to worsen, COA is seeking donations to help sustain this important community program. For more information, visit www.help4seniors.org/comfortmeals.
During the pandemic, COA worked with many organizations and individuals to serve some of our region’s most vulnerable individuals. In Clinton County, one individual stands above the crowd in her commitment to meeting the needs of Clinton County seniors during the pandemic: Donna Slone-Gumbert. Ms. Slone-Gumbert is the director of marketing at Continental Manor in Blanchester and a life-long resident of Clinton County.
Through grassroots leadership and recruiting, Donna formed the Blanchester Senior Community Collaborative with the goal of identifying and meeting the needs of seniors during the pandemic. Members of the collaborative, including Council on Aging, area hospice organizations, churches, businesses and volunteers, work together to identify and support seniors in need. The collaborative has provided meals, personal care and cleaning supplies and other sources of comfort to older adults in need.
“Because of Donna’s leadership and innovative, collaborative way of thinking, older adults in this community got the food and supplies they needed to stay safe in their homes during the pandemic,” said Haley Allgood, a Council on Aging case manager who coordinates in-home care services for seniors in Clinton County. “Donna doesn’t know the meaning of the word no and she’s always thinking one step ahead to anticipate seniors’ needs.”
For more information about the C4 Awards, click here. Seniors who need help during the COVID-19 pandemic should call (513) 721-1025.