The Community Living Campaign was fortunate to have Deloris McGee as an early staff member who helped create this role of Community Connector, which has been one of the hallmarks of our work in San Francisco.
Who is a Community Connector? A local leader, often a senior or a person with a disability, who works to make their neighborhood and the wider community a better place to grow old. They look for opportunities to connect neighbors to one another; they see the gifts and talents of those around them; they call upon their friends and colleagues to help out; they have a vision for what an aging and disability friendly neighborhood would look like.
For the past seven year, Deloris used her skills and connections to develop support networks for individual seniors in her community, establish a neighborhood-based grocery delivery program that has become an example for other neighborhoods, help develop a breast cancer support group and annual luncheon, a weekly OMI Fog Walkers walking group, the annual Aging While Black Forum, annual holiday turkey give-aways, Karaoke nights, computer classes and so much more.
Like so many other talented older adults, Deloris is leaving San Francisco. She is returning to her family home in Mississippi. But she leaves behind a legacy in her community and a role model for future Connectors. Her community, with support from CLC, hosted a thank you party for the “Woman with a Heart of Gold”. Deloris promises to return to visit and after a short rest, to continue “connecting people” in her hometown. We have prepared a memory book for Deloris with these and other pictures and mementos of her time with Community Living Campaign. If you have good wishes or comments you would like to share, feel free to post on this blog and we will send along. Thank you , Deloris!
If you would like to be a Community Connector in your neighborhood, let us know.
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