Newsletter – May 29, 2020

Here for You

During this time of unrest and uncertainty, please know that you can call East Side Elders for help, or give us a call if you just want to talk.  We are working from home today, but can check messages and get back to you on our office cell phone.  We can also be reached by email at  Please stay safe by remaining in your home if possible and know that we are here for you.     

A Letter from Janet, our Executive Director

June 15th will mark my 5-year anniversary working at East Side Elders.  And what an interesting five years it has been.  As we were known in 2015, Dayton’s Bluff Seniors Living at Home Block Nurse Program had only a handful of clients and two part-time staff members who worked in a small office on the lower level of the First Lutheran School building. Over the next few years, we expanded our program to include the Payne-Phalen and Conway-Battle Creek communities. Today, we serve over 600 seniors each year, provide more than 1,500 rides and have created a strong and sustainable program. 

Then came COVID-19 and things have changed a bit.

We continue to provide rides to essential medical appointments and our wonderful volunteers still grocery shop, mow lawns and make friendly phone calls. Family groups have raked and bagged leaves, people from all over the world have written letters to seniors, mask makers from all over the country have sent donations, and most recently, local restaurants have helped us to provide meals to seniors.

Something that has really stood out to me over the past months is how resilient and spirited our clients are. I have had several conversations with clients who remind me that this too will pass, and that life goes on – putting COVID-19 into perspective.  Clients who have fought in wars, lost loved ones and have experienced devastating health issues, have survived and are stronger for it.  I am humbled by their strength and wisdom.

I have seen how wonderfully supportive the community has been – not to just East Side Elders, but to their friends and neighbors.  Here’s an example I have seen of caring and sharing.  At The Cambric, residents help each other out by delivering the meals from Brunson’s Pub and Aesop’s Table to their doors.  Every other week, Ms. Glorius and her friends make sure that the donations of fresh produce and groceries are shared throughout the building.  

We have also had an opportunity to make new friends and partnerships.  The Sanneh Foundation has responded to our requests for fresh produce and meals by delivering groceries to the Elders Lodge and, most recently, has made it possible to deliver meals from the Minnesota Central Kitchen to community members. We have made new friends at Ideal Credit Union, SPIRE Credit Union, local business owners and community members.  The Seeds of Hope Garden on Maria Avenue will bring even more friends and neighbors as we grow vegetables to share.

So looking back, East Side Elders has changed, but life does go on.  And we will be here for our friends and neighbors when it is all over.

As Albert Einstein noted, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”   

Share Your Opinion Today!

Along with so many other plans, we have had to scrap or reimagine our upcoming schedule of fundraisers.  But that doesn’t mean we don’t intend on bringing you fun and meaningful ways to help us in our mission to serve seniors! 

You can help us in our planning by completing our survey – let us know know what kinds of fundraiser YOU want to see by filling out our short, 2 question survey.  

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Big thanks to the amazing resident volunteers at the Cambric Senior Apartments for helping to distribute over 100 meals three times a week to their neighbors!  Without their help, we would not be able to get these meals to seniors who are sheltering in place during this crisis.  

Online Dementia Friends Information Session

Join us online on Zoom for a Virtual Dementia Friends Information Session! This session will be lead by our three staff members and Dementia Friends Champions – Janet, Kala, and Rebecca.

Over 4,000 Minnesotans have become Dementia Friends. Why not join them from the comfort of your home?

You will learn about dementia and the small ways you can help people living with it. Make a difference in your community!

Dementia Friends is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia. It aims to transform the way we think, talk and act about the disease. The Dementia Friends session helps you learn about dementia and the small ways you can help. From telling friends about the program to visiting someone you know living with dementia, every action counts.

Corporate Sponsorship Opportunity! 

Corporate sponsorship opportunities are now available for Meals for Seniors, a program through East Side Elders! This is a great opportunity to show your customers that you are invested in the well-being of the seniors in the community – and gives you an opportunity to be a hero to local restaurants during this difficult time.

With your sponsorship dollars, East Side Elders will purchase meals from local restaurants to be delivered to seniors in need. Sign up today or learn more on our website; we have three tiers of sponsorship to work with every budget.

Thank you Ideal Credit Union!

If you follow us on social media, you might have heard about the awesome donation Ideal Credit Union made in support of our efforts to delivery meals to seniors!  We want to thank them for their generous $1,000 donation and also thank Aesop’s Table for their continued effort to get the word out about our GoFundMe Campaign.  Click here to donate today and help us reach our goal of $5,000 – every dollar helps us provide meals for seniors during this crisis!  

A Letter for You

Sign up today to receive letters and cards from our volunteers!  We have recieved over 500 letters from people all over the world who wanted to show their love and support for older folks in the community.  If you would like a card or letter, contact us today at 651-683-2326 or  Here is just one letter that we’ve received:


I am a senior that lives alone. Thank goodness for my television and Netflix. I haven’t been driving because of some vision issues and haven’t been talking the bus because I can’t control my surroundings. I’m missing the spring and summer art and music fairs, but mostly miss my friends. I’m very lucky to have a loving brother and sister in law who have been bringing me goodies. One of them was some wonderful homemade peanut brittle. I usually only get this at Christmas but I asked if I could maybe get some and they came through.

I like to travel and usually go on a trip for my birthday in November. My last one was 23 days in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. I’m hoping to someday going to Japan. I’ve always had a cat or two, but my last kitty girl Johnnie went to heaven and I don’t know when I might get another. I always get shelter and rescue cats. There are so many that need us and our love.

I was in the Navy for 11 years and then a chef for 30 years. I went to worked for AT&T for 16 years and retired from there. I like to travel, sing, cook and try new restaurants. I love a good martini and steak at Jax in Northeast Minneapolis and breakfast at my neighborhood diner, Roman’s. Please take care of yourself and let your friends know that I say hello.

A friend,

Printable Coloring Books!

Enjoy some creativity and relaxation with our East Side Elders Coloring Books!  We put the call out to volunteers and we have received some amazing submissions of art from all over the country!  Click here to find our coloring books on our website.  

Don’t have a printer?  Contact us and we can mail our books to folks 60+ in our service area.  Contact us at 651-683-2326 or