Meridian Star

December 15, 2013

Let’s volunteer to help the volunteers

By Barbara Wells
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — Lately, I have been fortunate enough to spend some time with RSVP of Meridian/Lauderdale County Director Diane Glover as I am on her board of directors.

    Last Monday, several of us worked unloading and dividing Toys for Tots to be distributed among the five agencies who work with children in need. Well, of the group there working, three were directors, four or five were previously school teachers – all of us trying to tell the others what to do. Can you guess who finally took over? The youngest.

    The hardest part of volunteering anywhere is allowing someone else to "lead the way." If things works out well the knowledgeable person knows best, sometimes not. Just don’t give up or give out. Give your all.

    My husband, we’ll call him “A.G.” (as many people cannot pronounce his name by the way it is spelled) usually has an interesting story or custom to tell me from Japan, his home country. The one following could be from any country if we just change the name:

    Aman (Joseph, Bobbie) died and entered the next dimension. An angel showed him around and led him down a hallway, stopping at a door marked “Hell.” Inside was a roomful of starving, wretched, anguished people. They sat at long table piled high with sumptuous food, but permanently attached to their arms were spoons and forks longer than their arms, which made it impossible for them to eat the food.

    Then the angel led the man to the next door, marked “Heaven.” Inside was exactly the same scene, with one exception: The people were happy and smiling, healthy, and obviously well fed.

    The man looked at the angel with puzzled expression and said, “I don’t understand. What’s the difference?” And the angel replied, “These people learned how to feed each other.”

At Meridian Activity Center

    Classes are over for this year. Over the next three weeks, we (Wanda Taylor, Crystal Scott and myself) will be cleaning the center, having the leaves raked out front, and registering for the new year's classes.

    Kelvin McGruder, our new Parks and Recreation director, has planned a Christmas luncheon for all P&R employees on Dec. 23. The center will be open only until 5 p.m. that day as we have no night classes planned until Jan. 6, 2014.  

    If you have a class in mind you would like to take in 2014, please come by those last three weeks of December to register. (If you wait until the week of Jan. 6, you might find your class is filled up!) All our computer classes in Windows 7 and 8 begin again that first week; Monday night, Wednesday and Thursday mornings. Please pay in advance; $15 will cover five sessions.

    During Senior Bingo on Thursday (every first and third Thursday), we are celebrating with Christmas Bingo. Everyone brings a wrapped gift to give away as a prize; all win on this special day so the game may go a bit longer than usual.  

    Janie Howard’s new Zumba class hours in 2014 will be from 4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday in Building A of Meridian Activity Center. That’s so much easier on everyone to cut out the later 6:30 p.m. class.     And, remember, if you pay $20 at the beginning of the month (when our regular classes begin on Jan. 6) you can take 16 classes. (That would cost you $32 if you came and paid on a day-to-day basis!) Dance keeps you alive, energized and feeling cool! Janie Howard is trained in the patented Zumba dance techniques and pays dues to keep updated on the right moves and body work.

    Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the big room of Building B is another dance class which incorporates the use of weights, stretch bands and big balls to Top 20 hits. While not as fast as Zumba, Brenda Golisch keeps us moving and talking about good health habits. She plans to motivate us with laughter and education.     Friendly class. Pay with “love offering.”

    Make exercise part of your daily routine in 2014. Don’t miss our afternoon exercise classes: free yoga on Monday and Thursday at 5:30 p.m.; Zumba, Monday through Thursday, 4:30 p.m.; Slimnastics, Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 4:30 p.m.; free half-hour yoga for men at 6:30 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays.

    Morning classes include: seated exercise class four days a week, beginning at 9 a.m.; floor exercise, yoga and strength training, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. There's a walking trail outside; five times around is 1 mile.

    Meridian Activity Center (3300 32nd Ave.) is located off 29th Avenue and 36th Street. Look for our small brown street signs, then as you turn onto 32nd Avenue you will see our arched sign at the end of the street as you enter the compound.

    Call for details. (601) 485-1812. We’ll be glad to see you!

    • Barbara Wells is director of Meridian Activity Center. You may e-mail her at