To the editor:

Since its official beginnings in 1975, Heartland Senior Services has had a solid partnership with United Way of Story County. From the start, United Way has supported Heartland philosophically and financially, making it possible for older citizens throughout the county to take advantage of services which might otherwise have gone unrealized.

Not only does United Way support Heartland with grants through the Story County ASSET alliance ($54,000 + this year), but United Way has given special gifts outside of their ASSET commitments as well. For example, in the past year when more funds were needed for Heartland’s important program of Outreach (assistance to elders throughout the county in financial management, access to services, personal health and safety issues and more), United Way gifted Heartland with an Outreach grant of $5,000. When the Heartland kitchen, in which over 40,000 meals a year are prepared, was in dire need of remodeling this year, United Way gave a grant of $5,500 for a rolling refrigerator. This made possible greater ease in food preparation, but, more importantly, increased food safety in this multi-meal prep setting.

United Way recognizes also, as Heartland does, the importance to the community of social, recreational and educational opportunities for increasing numbers of more active seniors. United Way has been unique among agencies to offer financial assistance for activities of this kind as well, including jazz and country jams, Songbirds chorus, exercise classes, computer classes, card clubs, Bingo, book discussions and writing groups.

Heartland’s partnership with United Way of Story County is tremendously important and greatly valued. We hope it can continue long into the future.

Miriam Patterson, Ames

Member, Heartland Senior Services board of directors