Berlin - The Senior Center members rallied together to support local pantries during the “Rocking into 2021 with Peace and Love” drive-thru food drive on Friday.
“It’s a new year, and it was a Martin Luther King day last week. King was all about peace and love to all people, and that’s where I got the idea for the event,” said Senior Center Director Tina Doyle.
The food drive brought 13 bags and six boxes of non-perishable items that were delivered to the Berlin Food Pantry and St. Paul’s Food Pantry. A total of 56 seniors participated.
“Our senior population is very loyal, they are loyal to each other, they’re loyal to their community,” said Doyle. “They want to help out in any way they can, and it’s really important for them to be active members of the community.”
Upon their arrival to the Center, seniors gave out their donations to Doyle without leaving their cars and in return received goodie bags, that included a cupcake decorated with a peace sign and a painted rock, designed by members of the ‘Rocking Berlin CT!’ group.
“Tina is just such a wonderful woman, and she is so full of spirit,” said Lori Dwyer, creator of Rocking Berlin CT “She wanted to make sure seniors knew that COVID wasn’t going to stop them from staying connected.”
Dwyer started Rocking Berlin CT in 2018 and the group now has 1,300 members.
“I used to always paint and kind of stopped,” said Dwyer. “But then I went through a rough time around July of 2018 and decided to get back to painting again. It got my mind off of things. Then I decided to start painting on the rocks and hiding them around town, and it just took off. Kids and adults started hiding painted rocks as well.”
Since Dwyer started the group, she has been hosting rock painting classes for kids in the town library and plans to hold similar classes for the adults.
“It is all about spreading kindness and positivity in our community. When you find a rock, it just puts a smile on your face,” said Dwyer.