In 2022, the West Philadelphia Senior Community Center welcomed back popular programs. Daily lunch service returned during the summer, delighting members with delicious meals each weekday. The popular holiday wreath-making class returned, which members then used for holiday decoration.

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the Center welcomed back one of their favorite traditions: the Thanksgiving luncheon.

“It is a wonderful gift for members,” shares Rose Richardson, Executive Director.

Every year, the Prince Hall Masonic Lodge (Mt. Laurel #2) sponsors this warm lunch gathering. The relationship between the Center and Prince Hall, along with Friends of the Lodge, developed several years ago because of their shared mission to help the local community and the seniors living in the community.

“It was good to be back,” says Julia Diggs, Program Manager for the Center.

Members agreed with Julia. “I had an awesome time,” shares Jessie. “Good times!” adds Jackie.

For many people in the community, the West Philadelphia Senior Community Center is their “home away from home”, and the members, along with staff and volunteers, feel like a great big family.

“They’re there with friends,” says Julia, as she explains what the Center’s members love about the luncheon. “Some just get a little something to eat, or someone brings food to someone else. It gives them an opportunity to break bread together. They really enjoy that.”

Members relished the chance to break bread and socialize together again. They sat for a memorable feast prepared by the Masons from Prince Hall. The Eastern Stars, from Friends of the Lodge, prepared and brought additional dishes for the Masons.

The feast included plenty of turkey, collard greens, sweet potatoes, warm rolls, corn pudding, pies, and beverages. After dinner came the chance
to work off some of the delicious Thanksgiving food. Kenny Jackson performed for the members. He is an R&B recording artist who also plays bass guitar. Everyone danced and sang with joy.

The luncheon always ends with full bellies, joyful hearts, and, of course, leftovers. “We always have a lot of food left over,” shares Julia. “We donate the leftovers to people in our community who might need food.” The shared mission to help the local community and seniors always goes on.

As more programs return to the Center, and new ones are added, the Center will continue to feel like a home away from home—with all the warmth and love a person could need.