Who Am I To Stand and Wonder
Tucked away in the Orange County Sportsplex, the Jerry M. Passmore Senior Center is a welcoming space that provides a warm community of care for the county's seniors. This community is largely facilitated by the tireless work of the staff who find genuine fulfillment in improving the lives of their participants. The Passmore Center is unique among senior centers due to its generous funding from the county, which allows it to provide a diverse wealth of services that offer both practical support and personal comfort and growth. One of the most defining features of its work in the community, however, is the extent of its artistic opportunities and programs, either free or affordable.
Throughout my time at the center, it was clear that these artistic activities meant more to the seniors than just a way to pass the time. Making art was a way to cope with the unavoidable grief and confusion of aging, and it empowered the participants to explore and celebrate themselves through the encouragement of others. Creative expression served as an immense source of joy and companionship, with many telling me it kept them young. Everyone there was so incredibly welcoming towards me and anyone who happened to come into the door, quick to laugh and smile. Not only is the center a source of happiness and peace for the seniors, but it also is for the staff who dedicate so much time and energy into making all the moving pieces work. In my short time there, I also felt the care of the community at the Passmore center, and it was continuously the highlight of my week to sit and chat with everyone while admiring their talent. I am so grateful for the kindness of everyone involved in the project, and I hope that anyone who views it can also feel the warmth that permeates the people and the space they inhabit.