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Frontline Reflections: John Hallich

John is a long-time resident of western Itasca County. Now in his 80s, John is an ElderCircle client for both the Home Visitor Program and the Assisted Transportation Program. In 2021, Blandin Foundation provided a $134,000 grant to support operating expenses for ElderCircle and their Home Visitor Program.

This year was another rough one for seniors. Living in a senior apartment in Deer River, when COVID started up, our community center shut down and there’s nothing going on. Besides walking down the hallway to grab mail and meeting someone by chance, that community center was the only place we could get together.

I am thankful for ElderCircle’s driving program, though, because without it I’d never get to my medical appointments. Just like those drivers are volunteers, I hope more people in our community make the choice to help their neighbors as much as they can. For me, I don’t have anything to give financially, but if I can help out, I will – giving rides and such. Helping out each other is one way to get through these challenging times.

In the new year, I hope to see this community grow and get COVID-19 under control. If communities like Marcell, Talmoon and Deer River grow and more jobs are created, people, like me, will see the freedom that comes with a rural way of life and want to try it out for themselves.

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