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The O’Neill Center celebrates 35 years in the community

Springtime is typically a time for rebirth and renewal and after the year we’ve had, I think everyone is ready for some recalibrating.

As warmer weather and longer days finally start to peek around the corner, the O’Neill Center is excited to start returning to some semblance of normal. Of course, we know it will be a long time before complete normal ever really returns.

Even as we start adding more activities, increasing our numbers for transportation, living assistance, adult day care, and more, we continue to follow the safety guidelines that are required of us by the State of Ohio. These guidelines include temperature checks, wellness assessments, wearing masks at all times, sanitizing and social distancing. Our staff also continues to be tested every other week and many of us have been or are planning to be vaccinated. We know many folks are curious about when we will be able to safely take trips and gather for a good game of bingo.

The truth is this: We want all of this to come back, too. And it will as soon as the state gives us the green light. Your safety and the safety of our staff and our community as a whole are the most important factors right now. Thank you for sticking with us.

Speaking of sticking with us, the O’Neill Center would like to send a huge thank you to Larry Sloter and the Busy Bee Restaurant for helping us continue to provide healthy meals for homebound seniors. Thanks also to assistance from Marietta Community Foundation, Settlers Bank, Memorial Health System, Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and Sisters Health Foundation, we will be able to keep this very necessary program going through the end of spring when, hopefully, more options will become available, including the reopening of many congregate food sites. Our fingers are crossed.

One of my goals since I joined the team at the O’Neill Center was to establish community partnerships and to get our name out to people who still may not know who we are or what we do. This month, the O’Neill Center is celebrating 35 years as a private nonprofit.

Since 1986, we have been serving the seniors in our community and we have been able to do that thanks, in part, to support from area businesses, foundations and individuals who find value in what we do.

As part of our continued involvement in the community, the O’Neill Center is proud to participate in Marietta Main Street’s First Friday event in April. The Downtown Peep Show will feature several nonprofit groups paired with area businesses. We would like to thank Hive Alive for allowing us to share space to display our Peep sculpture.

Since I have been elbows deep in marshmallows the past couple weeks, I would like everyone to know it’s no small feat that these nonprofits are attempting. Those gooey sugary chicks and bunnies are heavy when they dry out!

I hope you will support Marietta Main Street and those participating nonprofits by voting for your favorite by making a donation. I look forward to being out and to seeing everyone on April 2, while taking every safety precaution.

Let’s all start to brush off the winter blahs and the dreariness of the past year and come together as a community. It’s time. We’re ready. We hope you are, too.

Erin O’Neill is Development Coordinator for The O’Neill Center, located at 333 Fourth St. in Marietta. She can be reached at eoneill@oneillcenter.com or 740-373-3914.

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