The program DSSS (DIVERSE Seniors’ Support Services) JFS continued with participation until the COVID Pandemic put a halt to in-person meetings. Now, they were isolated and somewhat lonely. At this stage JFS, through Safia Nawaz, Anne Hamilton, Betty Haris and a dedicated team of volunteers devised a comprehensive plan to help seniors engage and communicate with all their friends using the Zoom platform.

One such plan was the ‘Gardening Zoom Meeting’. From all their sharing we can say the gardening program was a tremendous success! The plan required extraordinary efforts to train and to deliver materials. Volunteers went to their homes to deliver soil, seeds, seedlings and plants.

Senior Organic Gardeners (SOG) provided workshops and some supplies.

Satwant and Mr. Sagu said that they learned a lot. They felt less lonely now that they were connected. They felt they were less bored and more active. It passed the time they said. The activities made them happy and were like therapy in keeping their minds active, calm, and engaged. It took them outdoors and this gave them the benefit of obtaining Vitamin D.

They learned what worked and what didn’t. They are hoping to learn how to keep rabbits and squirrels from eating the fruits of their labor. This is said with a rueful smile. It was relaxing they said and laughed about singing to plants! They both said, “The harvest was good!”