Brown Bag food program seeks volunteers

MIKE LABELLA/ Staff photoDeputy Fire Chief Eric Tarpy, front, and police Lt. John Barbieri load bags of groceries onto a cart for the Brown Bag Program.


The Council on Aging is looking for volunteers to help with its Brown Bag Program, which provides food to senior citizens and other needy people.

Volunteers are needed the first Tuesday and the fourth Thursday of every month from 8:45 to 11:30 a.m.

More information is available by calling 978-374-2390.




What: Volunteers needed for Brown Bag Program.

When: First Tuesday and fourth Thursday of every month, 8:45 to 11:30 a.m. 

More information: Call 978-374-2390.



Here are other activities for local senior citizens:

‘We Band of Angels’ presented: Pat Vallencourt will present “We Band of Angels” at the Citizen Center, 10 Welcome St. on Aug. 14 at 1 p.m.

He will tell the story of 77 nurses who were trapped in the Philippines after the Japanese invaded the islands. They nursed more than 3,000 civilian patients in large prison camp oat San Tomas University of Manila. They survived starvation, disease and savagery to do their duty on a daily basis. All The women survived these horrible conditions to return to the U.S. as heroes.


Transportation programs discussed: A representative from the Merrimack Valley Transit Authority (MVRTA) will be at the Citizens Center on Sept. 16 at 10:30 a.m. to provide information on the EZ-Tran Program, Medi-Ride to Boston and Peabody hospitals, and local bus schedules.

This session provides important information to senior citizens and others who are interested in learning more about local transportation opportunities. Call 978-374-2390 for more information or to register for this program.


Library gift shop seeks volunteers: Volunteers are needed at the Haverhill Public Library Friends Gift Shop.

The Friends are seeking volunteers for two-hour shifts to work in the newly renovated shop. This is an opportunity to work in a pleasant environment and meet library patrons and shoppers.

Anyone who is interested is asked to call the Friends Shop at 978-373-1586, ext. 601.



Phone service for hearing impaired: A representative from ClearCaptions, a captioning telephone service available for the deaf and hearing impaired, will be at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St., on July 31 at 1 p.m. to host a Lunch and Learn program.

If you are experiencing any form of hearing loss, you may qualify to receive a ClearCaptions phone at no cost to you. ClearCaptions is a Federal Communications Commission-certified telephone captioning provider. Service is paid for by Americans with Disabilities Act. Reservations are required for this event and can be made by calling 978-374-2390.


Help sought to make teddy bears: The Council on Aging is looking for volunteers to help make teddy bears for children.

The work is done Thursdays at 9 a.m. at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St. No experience is necessary.

Tasks range from sewing to embroidering to stuffing. The teddy bears are donated to hospitals, fire stations, agencies and other organizations that serve traumatized children.

If you have an hour a week to volunteer, call 978-374-2390.


Moderate impact exercises: The YMCA is offering a free moderate impact exercise class designed for older adults.

Classes will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St., and on Saturdays at 11:30 at the YMCA, 81 Winter St.. Classes include aerobic activity, strength training, balance and flexibility. No registration is required.

More information on times and other details is available by calling The YMCA.


Golf lessons: Get those golf clubs ready.

Ted Murphy directs the Senior Golf Clinic at Garrison Golf Center, 654 Hilldale Avenue on Wednesdays at 10 a.m.

Cost is $15 per session and includes a group lesson and a round of golf.

No registration is required. The clinic starts at 10 a.m.


Nutritional counseling: Do you have chronic kidney disease or diabetes?

Medicare-eligible senior citizens qualify for free individual nutritional counseling with a registered dietician. Susan Poludniak from Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley meets with clients at the Citizen Center, 10 Welcome St.

To register contact her at 978-374-2390, ext. 3915, or


Help with stress, anxiety: The Council on Aging will offer a senior citizens peer support group for stress and anxiety. It will be led by Alice Worland, RN.

The group meets at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St., on the third Tuesday of each month at 11 a.m. To register, contact Mary Connolly at 978-374-2390, ext. 3915.


Chair yoga: The Council on Aging is offering chair yoga every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St.

Chair yoga is a gentle practice in which postures are performed while a person is seated and/or with the aid of a chair. This style of yoga is ideal for students who may have challenges getting on the floor or anyone who wants to focus on a gentle practice while using a chair for balance. Chair yoga increases flexibility, strength and body awareness.

Classes are $5 per session. Call 978-374-2390 to register.


Garden Club seeks members: The planting season is here, and the Haverhill Garden Club is looking for new members as the group enters its busy time of year.

Membership includes 10 presentations by horticultural experts. The club also presents Garden of the Month awards to people in the community who have outstanding displays on their properties.

For more information, contact Dana Haggar at haverhillgardenclub@gmm or check out the Haverhill Garden Club Facebook page.



Book club seeks members: Like to read and talk over what you’re reading with others? Then the Council on Aging Book Club is for you.

Club members enjoy conversation and friendship on the first Wednesday of every month as they discuss a variety of books.

If you are newly retired with time on your hands or just want to join the fun, call 978-374-2390 for details.


Congresswoman’s staff member visits: A representative from U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan’s office is at the Citizens Center from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on the second Monday of every month to meet with constituents.

Whether you have a comment or a question on a federal program or issue, feel free to drop in and introduce yourself to Vladimir Saldana, regional director for Trahan.

A bilingual representative from Trahan’s office is at the Citizens Center from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on the first and third Wednesday of every month to meet with constituents.


Senator’s staff member available: A representative from state Sen. Diana DiZoglio’s office will be at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St., from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the last Friday of each month.

The senator’s office looks forward to meeting with constituents to discuss concerns and hear comments during these open office hours.


Low-impact martial art helps with stress, balance: The Council on Aging offers tai chi classes each Thursday at 9 a.m. at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St.

Tai chi is a low-impact martial arts exercise system that helps reduce stress and anxiety. It also helps increase flexibility and balance.

It is a self-paced system of gentle physical exercises and stretching. Each posture flows into the next without pause, ensuring that your body is in constant motion.

It is suitable for older adults. The cost is $5 per one-hour session. Call 978-374-2390 for details.


Volunteer singers sought: If you enjoy singing, this is a chance to have some fun and bring enjoyment to elders in the community.

The Council on Aging’s Comedy Masque Revue is seeking interested senior citizen singers to join the group.

The group performs at local nursing homes throughout the year. Rehearsals are held every Tuesday at 9 a.m. at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St.

For more information call 978-374-2390.


Scrabble group meets: Have you got a knack for words? Here’s your chance to show off that ability and have a little fun.

A senior citizen Scrabble group meets Mondays at 10 a.m. at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St.

The group is seeking new players. Beginners all the way up to seasoned players are welcome.

Call 978-374-2390 for more information.


Trips offered: Call 978-476-4677 for information on these new senior citizen trips available through Life Long Journey Haverhill and Best of Times:

Montreal & Quebec Getaway, Aug. 20 to 23. Cost is $799 per person, double occupancy, and $1,099 single.

Bar Harbor, Boothbay Harbor & Acadia National Park, Sept. 23 to 25. Cost is $459 per person, double occupancy, and $599 single.

Lake George Balloon Festival, Sept. 20 to 22. Cost is $449 per person, double occupancy, and $599 single.

Break for Moose at Grand Resort Hotel at Sunday River Resort and Fryeburg Fair, Oct. 3 to 5. Cost is $479 per person, double occupancy, and $649 single.


New line dancing class: The Council on Aging is offering a new line dancing class.

Classes are Mondays from 9 to 9:50 a.m. at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St. A variety of songs and dance steps will be used, including broadway music, folk, swing, standards, rock ‘n’ roll, traditional and country. The class is open to anyone. No previous experience is necessary. Basic steps will be taught and reviewed each week, then expanded upon, when everyone is comfortable.

Instructor Susan Tribble has taught a wide range of dance, fitness and yoga classes for more than 10 years. She particularly enjoys working with people 50 and older and can provide modifications to accommodate different ability levels. Cost of the class is $5. More information is available by contacting Tribble at


‘Movement to Music’: The Council on Aging offers a gentle, eclectic workout routine called “Movement to Music.”

Senior citizens are welcome to exercise among friends where they are encouraged to work at their own pace. It is important to stay strong and well-balanced no matter what age.

Exercise is done to the music of the 1950s, and singing is optional. Instructor Heather True offers the first class free of charge. Cost is $3 per class and classes are held Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 to 10 a.m. at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St.


Volunteers needed for bingo games: Do you have some time on your hands and enjoy helping others?

Here’s where you can lend a hand while having a good time. Volunteers are needed for bingo games at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St., on Mondays and Thursdays from noon to about 3 p.m.

For details, call 978-374-2390.


Living will paperwork available: A limited number of copies of Five Wishes are available at the Council on Aging.

See Mary Connolly, RN if you would like a copy, or you can find them online at

More than just an advance directive, Five Wishes brings a holistic approach to a living will by including an individual’s care and comfort choices. It provides a means to legally document your choices for medical treatment, comfort and care wishes. Five Wishes meets the legal requirements for an advance directive in Massachusetts.

Just like in most other states, you can use Five Wishes in Massachusetts to express how you want to be treated if you are seriously ill and unable to speak for yourself, using a document that is easy to understand. All you need to do is check a box, circle a direction, or write a few sentences. Once it is signed and witnessed, your Five Wishes is a legal document.


Bowling league ends: Due to the closure of the St. Joseph’s bowling lanes, the Council on Aging senior bowling league no longer meets.


Book club seeks members: Like to read and talk over what you’re reading with others? Then the Council on Aging Book Club is for you.

Club members enjoy conversation and friendship on the first Wednesday of every month as they discuss a variety of books.

If you are newly retired with time on your hands or just want to join the fun, call 978-374-2390 for details.


Mahjong group seeks new members: Many members of the Council on Aging Mahjong group are snowbirds, so the group is seeking new members to add to players who stay up north for the winter.

The group meets Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. Current members will teach, so if you are interested in joining call 978-374-2390.


Conversational Italian classes: Instructor Maria Chiacchio offers conversational Italian classes.

Classes are two hours per week for eight weeks. Chiacchio will also hold individual practice conversation sessions for people wishing to maintain conversation skills. For more information, contact the Council on Aging at 978-374-2390.


Mexican Train Dominoes game: Interested in learning a new game?

The Mexican Train Dominoes game is played at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St., on Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. If you are interested, call 978-374-2390.

The instructor teaches novice players.


Diabetic support offered: Pavilion Medical Home Care will host a diabetic support group meeting on the third Wednesday of each month to discuss strategies for living with diabetes, controlling diet, and medical issues.

Call 978-374-2390 to register for this group.


Help for minorities: Minority outreach worker Maria Yagual is available to help senior citizens, especially those who speak English as a second language.

She is available at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St. She can be reached at 978-374-2390, ext. 12.

Class teaches drawing skills: An ongoing video class will be presented on how to draw.

The course is distilled from four decades of study, studio work and teaching. The class will be led by Robert Stokes. Call 978-476-9750 for more information.


Get a chair massage: Chair massages are available on the first Tuesday of each month at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St., from 9 to 11 a.m., by licensed massage therapist Susan Plouffe.

Massages are offered on a walk-in, first-come first-served basis. Cost is $5.


Knitters, crocheters sought: The Haverhill senior citizen knitting and crocheting group meets every Monday at 9:30 a.m. at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St.

Volunteers make hats and mittens for local children, as well as blankets and lap robes and shawls for senior citizens in nursing homes and veterans hospitals. Beginners are welcome.

Call 978-374-2390 for more information.


Park passes available: The Council on Aging reminds Massachusetts residents 62 and older that for $10 they can purchase a Senior MassParks Pass.

These passes are available for purchase at all Massachusetts state parks that charge a parking fee during the period parking fees are charged. A copy of your Massachusetts driver’s license or other official proof of Mass. residency is required. Information on Senior MassParks is available at

An $80 lifetime pass for U.S. citizens 62 or older for national parks is available at participating federal recreation sites.

For additional pricing information, visit


World affairs discussion: The Council on Aging is hosting a discussion group on terrorism and other world issues.

Jay White, a retired FBI agent and a former member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, lead the discussion. White is an adjunct faculty member at several area colleges.

The group meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 10 a.m. at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St. Call 978-374-2390 if you wish to participate.


Heating assistance available: The Council on Aging has a supply of Community Action Heating Assistance applications.

In addition to paying for heating bills incurred between Nov. 1 and April 30, Community Action has money to provide for heating system repairs and other energy efficiency measures such as upgrading old furnaces and weatherization. Call 978-374-2390 or stop by the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St., to pick up an application.


Art class offered: No previous art experience is required to join the Council on Aging art class.

Artist Theresa Hull is the instructor. Classes meet on Thursdays from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Cost is $5 per class. Contact Kathy Bresnahan or Rita LaBella for more information.


Vision help: The Council on Aging’s Low Vision Group meets on the first Monday of every month.

The group provides support for people who have lost or are losing their vision. Call 978-374-2390 for details.


Shared ride service: Merrimack Valley Transportation offers a program called EZ Trans for people who are at least 60 years old and people who are disabled.

EZ Trans is a shared ride service intended to accommodate those who cannot use the MVRTA fixed route bus system. Communities serviced by EZ Trans include Andover, Amesbury, Haverhill, Lawrence, Merrimac, Methuen, Newburyport and North Andover. Rides are also available to the Lahey Clinic in Peabody and several Boston hospitals. Special services require a 21-day application period. Contact the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority at 978-469-6878 for details.


Drivers sought to help elders: There is a dramatic need for drivers to provide transportation to doctor and hospital appointments through the Northern Essex Elder Transportation program.

Many senior citizens are no longer able to drive and have difficulty getting to appointments to area hospitals and doctors. If you can give a few hours a month, contact Kathy Fairchild at 978-388-7474.


Zumba classes gain popularity: Zumba Gold has become one of the Council on Aging’s popular classes.

Led by instructor Stephanie Smith, classes are held Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. at a cost is $5. Participants can simply drop in to take the class.

Toning Zumba is offered Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.


3Bs are back: Due to popular demand, the Council on Aging’s 3Bs (Brains, Bones and Balance) class is now offered twice a week.

Senior citizens can improve their brains, balance and bones with the help of personal trainer Brian Coyle. Classes are held on Mondays at 11:30 a.m. and Fridays at 11 a.m. at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St. Cost is $3 per class. Contact Kathy Bresnahan or Rita LaBella at 978-374-2390 for details.


Library programs for elders: The Haverhill Public Library has numerous programs that are of interest to Haverhill senior citizens.

The library is offering a free workshop on Kindle and Nook e-readers, a book discussion group for knitters and crocheters, workshops in genealogy, movies, art classes, and a program with local authors. Call the library for details at 978-373-1586 or visit online at


Lifelong learning: The COOL Program at Northern Essex Community College offers education opportunities for life-long learners who are 50 and older.elcome all players who are 60 and older or disabled.


Lock box: Make the entrance to your home convenient for fire and ambulance service with no damage to your home.

Haverhill residents can have a lock box attached to the outside of their house or apartment.

For more information, contact Fire Chief William Laliberty at 978-373-8460 or Joel Berg at 978-374-2390, ext. 38.


Medicare ID help: Senior citizens can call 800-772-1213 to replace Medicare cards or make changes to addresses or phone numbers.

Changes to direct deposit, proof of benefit amounts, Social Security card applications, field office locations, information messages, Social Security statements and other information can be obtained by calling this number.


It’s a SNAP: Have you heard of SNAP?

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a federal program that provides financial assistance to senior citizens and others who cannot cover the costs of a healthy diet. Applications are available at the Council on Aging office.


Tax help: Did you know there are several tax saving opportunities to assist senior citizens with property taxes?

Veterans, blind persons, the elderly and hardship deferrals are obtained by application to the Assessors Office at City Hall.d


Newsletter distributed: Each month the Council on Aging istributes more than 2,000 copies of its newsletter, “The Voice,” throughout the city.


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