Respite ministry plans Drive-by Summer Kickoff Parade for June 1

FROM STAFF REPORTS 

NORTH SHELBY — Volunteers and staff from Anchor Community Respite Ministry at Asbury United Methodist Church will hold a Drive-By Summer Kick-Off Parade for program participants and their loved ones Monday, June 1 at 2 p.m. at the church campus.

Anchor Community Respite Ministry provides fellowship and stimulation to people who are living with memory loss due to dementia or stroke. On a regular basis, Anchor operates every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. From puzzles and crafts to music and chair yoga, participants are challenged to stay active and are supported by a community of friends. A hot lunch is also served.

“We encourage the participants to help other participants and it boosts their own self-esteem and gives them purpose—not to mention instills a sense of community and belonging,” said Gina McIntyre, Anchor program director.

In March, COVID-19 forced the program to temporarily close; however, McIntyre and a few volunteers have still been hard at work supplying take-home packets, videos and projects to keep participants involved, even from home. The parade on June 1 will be the first time that participants and their loved ones will see the volunteers that have become so close to them.

“Of course we’ll be taking all the necessary safety precautions,” McIntyre said. “Every volunteer is required to have a mask and there is absolutely no touching. We’ll just be holding signs, waving hands, and helping our friends feel the love.”

Attendees will even enjoy live music by volunteer Don Wendorf.

The cost to participate in Anchor is $40 per day, although scholarships are available. Care partners may schedule visits or obtain enrollment applications by contacting Program Director Gina McIntyre at 205-529-6353 or gmcintyre@asburyonline.org.

There is no official reopening date for Anchor at this time. For updates and to learn more about Anchor Community Respite Ministry, visit Asburyonline.org/anchor.