Welcome to our new LLC

I know that many of you have met her, but we would like to officially welcome Erin Reibel, our Lifelong Learning Coordinator (LLC), to The Shepherd’s Center.

She will be at the Open University and Lunch and Life, as well as behind the scenes, helping us to offer Richmond’s lifelong learners one of the best programs in the area.

So, if you haven’t introduced yourself, please do!

Smile! It’s Amazon Prime Day

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It’s time to get some bargains!  Today, July 12th, is Amazon Prime Day and the deals are better than Black Friday.

Remember to go to Amazon Smile and choose The Shepherd’s Center of Richmond and shop away!  A portion of your purchase will be donated to TSCOR and every little bit counts!  Thank you in advance and happy shopping!!!

Open University Spring Class Schedule is on our website NOW!

The Open University class schedule for Spring 2015 is now available on our website.  You can also use the link below!  Classes begin Monday, March 23, 2015 – See you then!!

OU Classes Spring 2015

One Mission

Each year, more than 350 people regularly attend the Open University, some of whom are Shepherd’s Center volunteers. For many people, however, there seems to be a “disconnect” between the Open University on the one hand, and the personal services aspect of The Shepherd’s Center on the other. What, exactly, is the relationship between the two?

The mission of The Shepherd’s Center is to enrich the lives of older people and enable them to continue to live independent, meaningful lives. The Center accomplishes this mission in several focused ways. The first is to ensure that seniors in the community have adequate access to health care, to food, to minor but critical home repairs and to basic human interaction like friendly callers and visitors. Meeting these needs helps enable older people to remain independent as long as possible.

The second focus is to provide life-long learning opportunities and to minimize isolation. The Open University offers countless ways to challenge and inspire the mind in a setting where friendship and fellowship happen naturally.

While it may appear that the Shepherd’s Center is the Open University, and that the Center “also” offers volunteer help to seniors in the community; the truth is that there is just one single mission that takes several forms.

At the heart of every aspect of The Shepherd’s Center is volunteerism. This is the third focus of the Center – to provide the opportunity for older adults to find genuine meaning and purpose in their lives through making a difference in the lives of others. Whether you become actively engaged as a teacher, a driver, a committee member, or in some other capacity, it is your involvement, your work, that makes The Shepherd’s Center what it is. In fact, without volunteers, there simply is no Shepherd’s Center.

For more than 25 years, The Shepherd’s Center has been a source of joy and compassionate help for seniors in the Richmond area. Please help to spread the word about the importance of this mission. By doing so, you too become an active part of this wonderful organization.

Seniors, Non-Profits, and Social Media, Oh My!

When I set out to redesign our website, the immediate challenge seemed to be how to create a site that would be “senior friendly”.   I had to wonder ~ What exactly does that mean?  I wanted to create a site that was easily navigated by the men and women who make up the extraordinary organization that I am privileged to direct, The Shepherd’s Center of Richmond.  For more than 25 years, TSCOR (The Shepherd’s Center) has been a vital and vibrant part of the Richmond, Virginia community, though surprisingly few people know about it.  TSCOR is all about people who are 50 and better, and there are some stereotypes that persist when it comes to “seniors” and computers, not to mention social media.  There’s a notion that “they aren’t online”.  So why bother with a website at all?

The fact is, that women over 55 are the fastest growing demographic group of Facebook users, and those over 60 are doing far more online than keeping up with the grandchildren.  Take a look at this article from CMS Wire.com, Social Media Minute:  Seniors Embrace the Web or this one from Mashable – Baby Boomers and Seniors are Flocking to Facebook  Our stereotypes may need a drastic overhaul!

My staff and I have been to several conferences in the past year which focused on the need for non-profits to get with the program with respect to web presence and the use of social media.  My task became clearer:  Build a good website – period.  The seniors will do just fine.  There is a wealth of information on the web and in print about how to develop a non-profit site that will be accessible to your members, informative to those seeking to use your services, and clear to your donors.  There is an enormous and ever-growing body of research available to guide non-profits as they begin to understand what motivates and inspires Baby Boomers to volunteer.  Ultimately, the task was to distill some of this information and create what we hope will be a successful website.   I did try to make it easy on the eyes with a black on white format and a font size that was easily readable. 

So today, we’re celebrating the launch of The Shepherd’s Center’s new web home.  There is still a little tweaking to do, but I think we’re ready to be a presence on the web and in the blogosphere.  If you’re curious about what The Shepherd’s Center is and does, you’re warmly invited to take a tour!  For our members, the over-50 crowd, WELCOME!  Don’t hesitate to “share” this blog post on your Facebook page, or post a link in your twitter feed!  I hope you’ll find the new site clear and easy to use.