A great many stories in the news lately have been about South Carolina, most of which have been in relation to topics and subjects that have promoted dissension, or at least fostered it.
But on July 24, Pickens County showed its true colors and the compassion and empathy its residents are capable of.
With much anticipation — and even more appreciation — all of the people who work, volunteer with or serve as a Pickens County Meals on Wheels board member had a bright moment that will last for years to come with the grand opening of the McKissick Center for Senior Wellness in Liberty.
While the esteemed members of the audience were appreciated, it was a small group at the back of the room during the ceremony who were the real guests of honor — members of the county’s seniors population on hand to witness the grand opening.
The McKissick Center is indeed a triumph for the county and an innovative idea that has the potential to be used across the state.
Our hat is off to Meta Bowers, executive director of Pickens County Meals on Wheels, and all of those involved in bringing this project to fruition over the course of five years. The impact this facility will have on the community will be an example of what we are capable of achieving when working together.
And in this case, the result will be vastly improved life for a large population in our county.
The center is now the home of Pickens County Meals on Wheels’ kitchen, the crux of the original idea, but that idea spawned a plethora of options available to the county’s seniors that had been unavailable before.
Exercise, communal meals, social opportunity and interaction in the world have been opened up to a segment of the community that many times goes unrecognized because it runs below the surface.
While the focus of Pickens County Meals on Wheels will remain the distribution of meals on a daily basis, now there is the opportunity to make an offering that doesn’t come along very often: a better quality of life.
For many who receive Meals on Wheels meals, the delivery of that meal is often the only social interaction they have all day. Now, thanks to the McKissick Center, that no longer has to be true.
They now have a place to call their own, a location where they can enhance the quality of their lives at their own pace and in their own time.
And isn’t quality of life what living is about?
Pickens County is a wonderful place to live and the actions of those directly responsible for the McKissick Center, whether through donations or through hands-on involvement, is directly reflective of the people who live here.
The only unfortunate thing is that unless you volunteer and visit the center, you will never see the impact this project is making and will continue to make down the road.
Talk to someone involved and hear the stories of your neighbors who had fallen through the cracks, and the joy this brings them and you will not question the validity of all that’s been done.
We salute all who had a hand in this project. Pickens County owes you a heartfelt thank you.