The Waxahachie Senior Citizens Center is staying busy meeting the physical, emotional, social, nutritional and educational needs for area senior citizens.

Director Cindi Schneider said centers have become more than just places for seniors to gather.

“Instead, they’ve become centers of extended learning, hallways of health, classrooms of recreation and a haven for wonderful friendships,” she said. “It is one of my goals as director to help lead our community to make our center such a place.”

There are numerous activities at the center, prompting people to visit again after an initial visit.

The center offers wellness programs that include daily exercise, shuffleboard, educational programs and blood pressure checks.

A hot breakfast is provided at no charge every Friday morning to members and a nutritional lunch is served every weekday, with meals provided at no charge to seniors older than age 60 years under financial guidelines established by the North Texas Food Bank and the Area Agency on Aging.

Social activities include a bimonthly pancake breakfast; dances every second and fourth Tuesday evening of the month, with a live band; bingo at 10 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; party bridge from 1-4 p.m. Thursdays; bunco from 12:15-2 p.m. every Wednesday afternoon; exercises led by Schneider, Jennifer Stevens of Danceworks and Cathy McKey of Waxahachie Baylorworx; a tea at the end of each month sponsored by Red Oak Rehabilitation; and a membership drive, which is held in October.

Schneider said she believes staying active helps seniors to cope with illnesses — emotionally and physically.

“It is well documented that seniors who typically stay home and are isolated most of the time are more likely to suffer more physical and emotional illnesses, such as depression, than those seniors who are involved in outside community activities,” she said. “Many of the regular attendees of the center give testimonials on how much better their outlook is after stopping in at the center.”

The center also coordinates travels such as a recent trip to Choctaw Casino in Durant, Okla., which drew 52 participants. The next trip is a cruise in the Western Caribbean with stops in Cozumel and Progresso, Yucatan.

“We’re planning more day trips this upcoming year,” Schneider said.

The center is financed through donations from the community, the United Way of West Ellis County and the city. Its fund-raisers include a garage sale in the spring and the bi-monthly pancake breakfasts.

The center is seeking donations of hardback books, VHS tapes and DVDs for a lending library. To make a tax-deductible donation, books can be brought to the center between the hours of 8 a.m.-noon. Bookcases also are needed. To make a monetary donation, mark the checks to “lending library.”

The center is open from 8 a.m.-2 p.m., Monday through Friday and is located at 219 Patrick St.

For more information, call (972) 937-8271.

E-mail Chicarra at chicarra.dense@wninews.com