73.1 F
Spring Hill
Thursday, December 1, 2022
HomeUncategorized“If you need me, I’ll be at the beach”

“If you need me, I’ll be at the beach”

- Advertisement -

“It’s all about feeling that they are a part of something. That every person here means something to someone else at The Enrichment Center program,” Debbie Walker – Druzbick said. As she talked about those who are a part of her program she remarked, “we are family here.”

- Advertisement -

Druzbick’s last day as the Director of The Enrichment Center Programs was Friday, May 31, 2019, as she retires after 25 years with the non-profit organization.  Since 1994 she has provided unconditional love and service to thousands of residents in need, in multiple communities across Hernando County.

 

Although born and raised as a Kentucky girl, she moved to Florida after falling in love with the area due to multiple family vacation trips, growing up. Debbie also moved to Hernando County as a single mom, seeking the best education for her two young children in 1989. Instantly, she became actively involved in the community by coaching Hernando County’s first all-girls soccer team in the early 1990s.

 

- Advertisement -

It was in 1984, that Hernando County sought out an organization that could provide community services to senior adults. In the mid-1980s, there were extremely limited options for seniors to receive help in the area. As a result, The Enrichment Centers program was born.

In 1994, Debbie joined the Enrichment Center Board of Directors. In 2001, she became Assistant Director, and in 2005 Debbie she was appointed as Director of The Enrichment Centers program. This year, she completes a 25-year career with the Enrichment Centers program.

 

“We are a living history book,” she proudly said as she began to tell of the many stories that have walked through her door over the years. From retired doctors who congregate among one another. To aircraft pilots who share their experiences over coffee. While the farmers exchange conversation over crops and farmland. The retired attorneys discuss their proud achievements. The quilters sit and giggle over their sewing machines with the crochet ladies who knit nursery hats for the hospital’s newest arrivals in the NICU. Over 30,000 veterans from WWII and even WAC (Women’s Army Corps) have come to be a part of the program since the 1980s.

“We have many people we help from all walks of life,” Debbie stated.

 

“Recently I attended a funeral of a gentleman who was with us for a long time. He was a well-known puzzler with us. He was very good at putting them together. You see, we have puzzles mounted on walls from members who have invested a lot of time in them.”

 

She continued,  “This particular gentleman was a Marine Veteran. He was 93 years old when he died. At his funeral, his daughter unexpectedly approached me. She told me he wanted to call me at 2:00 am to tell me how much The Enrichment Center had meant to him,” Debbie recounted.

 

“This is why I get up in the morning,” many members have said over the years.

 

As senior adults reach a certain age, it is easy for them to feel isolated and secluded from the outside world. Family may live far away and/or stay very busy with their own lives. Long-life friends begin to pass away. Feelings of loneliness can easily take over and threaten conditions of depression. It’s important they feel that they matter. That they serve a purpose.

“That’s what happens here,” Debbie stated.

 

The Enrichment Centers program is not a government-based entity, rather it is a nonprofit organization. Over 200 volunteers are involved with the program, covering all 3 centers located in Hernando County.

 

(1.) Brooksville Enrichment Center

     17222 Hospital Blvd.

      Medical Art Building, Ste. 120

      Brooksville, FL 34601

      (352)-544-6022

 

(2.) Springhill Enrichment Center

      10441 Quality Dr.

      Medical Arts Building, Ste. 105

      Spring Hill, FL 34509

      (352)-684-7568

 

(3.) Hernando County Mining Association

      800 John Gary Grubbs Blvd.

      Brooksville, FL 34601

      (352)-544-5900

 

Last year, when Ridge Manor Assisted Living Center flooded, Hernando County Mining Association sheltered the residents for 6 weeks. The facility can shelter up to 528 persons (full capacity). It is a $1.5 million dollar project that provides shelter during unexpected emergencies, fully equipped and generated with showers and basic necessities. Debbie advised that they also work with a local veterinarian (when having to shelter for emergencies) to assist with pets.

When asked what has been the most challenging circumstances during her career at the Enrichment Centers Program, Debbie’s responses were heart-wrenching:

“Limited income seniors,” she replied.

 

“We have had senior adults whose monthly income is only $458.00 per month. The average income can be near $750.00 per month for our senior adults. But we do try our best to find avenues to compensate for the shortfall of their unfortunate financial situations.”

 

Yet, there has been another challenge. A more heartbreaking one that she has come across more times that she can count.

“We have come across senior adults who have had adult children who have cleaned out their bank accounts. This was due to the senior adult signing a Power of Attorney releasing all assets to their adult children. And what happens is, some adult children will take every dime from them. And there’s nothing that can be done because the senior adult had mental capacity (of sound mind) when he/she signed the Power of Attorney.”

 

In these situations, Debbie and her staff of volunteers have contacted local authorities but due to the fact the senior adult made the sound choice to sign the legal document (Power of Attorney), there is not much that can be done in those circumstances. Although limited, Debbie and her staff do everything they can to help.

 

In addition, another shortfall that senior adults experience is meant for transportation. Especially home-bound seniors. “There are times we arrange a carpool type of schedule where if we have staff members who live in that area, we can pick up that senior adult,” she said.

 

There is no doubt the Enrichment Centers program has been a blessing to countless people in need, in Hernando County. The program will continue to thrive under the direction of the new Director, Dell O. Barnes Sr. (who has been a board member since 2006 and is very familiar with the established networking of sources in the community).

 

Debbie wrote the following words to Enrichment Center members,

 

“…I wish you a day of happiness and perfection…

Little bite-size pieces of perfection

That give you the funny feeling that the Universe is smiling on you,

Holding you so gently because you are someone special and rare.

I wish You a day of Peace, Happiness and Joy.

Thank you for being part of my family in such an ENRICHING way.

The World is a brighter place because of you!

If you need me-I will be at the Beach!

Love ya-DEBBIE

May 2019”

RELATED ARTICLES
- Advertisment -

Most Popular