Once again, Niagara Falls’ most vulnerable residents were treated to holiday goodie bags, thanks to the outreach efforts of the Rose Bente Lee Ostapenko Center for Race, Equity, and Mission at Niagara University, in partnership with the Niagara Falls Health Equity Task Force.
On Feb. 12, staff members from the center and other local organizations distributed 445 bags to vulnerable seniors and disabled individuals living at Wrobel and Spallino Towers. The bags contained a Valentine’s Day card or letter, hand sanitizer, a mask, an activity booklet, a pen, and information from Mount St. Mary’s Hospital. In addition, because the COVID-19 vaccine is becoming available to the senior and disabled population, a fact sheet about the vaccine was also included to help decrease vaccine hesitancy.
“There is so much misinformation out there, so it is important to put people in the best position to make an educated decision about their health,” said Kaylyn Townsend, project director at the Ostapenko Center. She noted the task force encourages the community to check on seniors to help ensure they stay healthy and emotionally well.
Other community members of the task force involved in this project include Heart, Love & Soul; YWCA of the Niagara Frontier/Carolyn's House; the Niagara Falls Housing Authority; Mount St. Mary's Hospital; and Niagara Organizing Alliance for Hope (NOAH).